Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Ridicule

"The fatal fondness of indulging in a spirit of ridicule, and the injurious and irreparable consequences which sometimes attend the too severe reply, can never be condemned with more asperity than it deserves. Not to offend is the first step towards pleasing. To give pain is as much an offence against humanity as against good-breeding, and surely it is as well to abstain from an action because it is sinful, as because it is unpolite." - Hugh Blair

"I do not mean to expose my ideas to ingenious ridicule by maintaining that everything happens to every man for the best; but I will contend, that he who makes the best use of it, fulfills the part of a wise and good man." -

"Ridicule, which chiefly arises from pride, a selfish passion, is but at best a gross pleasure, too rough an entertainment for those who are highly polished and refined." - Henry Home, Lord Kames

"The most effective way of attacking vice is to expose it to public ridicule. People can put up with rebukes but they cannot bear being laughed at: they are prepared to be wicked but they dislike appearing ridiculous." - Molière, pen name of Jean Baptiste Poquelin NULL

"Ridicule may be the evidence of wit or bitterness and may gratify a little mind, or an ungenerous temper, but it is no test of reason and truth." - Tyron Edwards

"A flippant, frivolous man may ridicule others, may controvert them, scorn them; but he who has any respect for himself seems to have renounced the right of thinking meanly of others." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"It is easy for a man who sits idle at home, and has nobody to please but himself, to ridicule or censure the common practices of mankind." -

"He who brings ridicule to bear against truth finds in his hand a blade without hilt." - Walter Savage Landor

"Wit gives to life one of its best flavors; common-sense leads to immediate action, and gives society its daily motion; large and comprehensive views, its annual rotation; ridicule chastises folly and imprudence, and keeps men in their proper sphere; subtlety seizes hold of the find threads of truth; analogy darts away in the most sublime discoveries; feeling paints all the exquisite passions of man’s soul, and rewards him by a thousand inward visitations for the sorrows that come from without." - Sydney Smith

"Parenting: Affection without sentiment, authority without cruelty, discipline without aggression, humor without ridicule, sacrifice without obligation, companionship without possessiveness." - William E. Blatz, fully William Emet Blatz

"The willingness to take the risk of being wrong and perhaps subjected to ridicule, punishment, or loss is an outstanding trait of the creative person. Such action does not mean to behave on foolish impulse, but to calculate the risks and then to take a chance." - Frank Barron

"The most human thing we have to do in life is is to learn to speak our honest convictions and feelings and live with the consequences. This is the first requirement of love, and it makes us vulnerable to other people who may ridicule us. But our vulnerability is the only thing we can give to other people." -

"Have charity; have patience; have mercy. Never bring a human being, however silly, ignorant, or weak - above all, any little child - to shame and confusion of face. Never by petulance, by suspicion, by ridicule, even by selfish and silly haste - never, above all, by indulging in the devilish pleasure of a sneer - crush what is finest and rouse up what is coarsest in the heart of any fellow-creature." -

"Don't laugh at a child's ambitions. There is no sting so sharp as ridicule, and a laugh is often ridicule to a child. What a parent should do when he knows his child is overreaching, is to talk it over with him from every angle, and, if possible, find an angle from which the job can be attacked with hope of success. Then urge him forward, give him every encouragement. Above all, don't help your child to do something that he can accomplish on his own. Don't deny him the priceless privilege and thrill of developing his own success." - Dale Carnegie, originally spelled Dale Carnegey

"I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence." - Frederick Douglass, born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey

"Ridicule is generally made use of to laugh men out of virtue and good sense, by attacking everything praise-worthy in human life." - Joseph Addison

"The greatest height of heroism to which an individual, like a people, can attain is to know how to face ridicule." -

"You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips." - Oliver Goldsmith

"'Tis easier to ridicule than commend." - Thomas Fuller

"We grow tired of everything but turning others into ridicule, and congratulating ourselves on their defects." - William Hazlitt

"Children learn what they live. If children live with criticism,they learn to condemn. If children live with hostility, they learn to fight. If children live with fear,they learn to be apprehensive. If children live with pity,they learn to feel sorry for themselves. If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy. If children live with jealousy,they learn what envy is. If children live with shame,they learn to feel guilty. If children live with tolerance,they learn to be patient. If children live with encouragement,they learn to be confident. If children live with praise,they learn to appreciate. If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves. If children live with acceptance, they learn to find love in the world. If children live with recognition, they learn to have a goal. If children live with sharing, they learn to be generous. If children live with honesty and fairness, they learn what truth and justice are. If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and those around them. If children live with friendliness, they learn that the world is a nice place in which to live. If children live with serenity, they learn to have a peace of mind. With what are your children living? " -

"Children learn what they live. If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn. If children live with hostility, they learn to fight. If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive. If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves. If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy. If children live with jealousy, they learn what envy is. If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty. If children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient. If children live with encouragement, they learn to be confident. If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate. If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves. If children live with acceptance, they learn to find love in the world. If children live with recognition, they learn to have a goal. If children live with sharing, they learn to be generous. If children live with honesty and fairness, they learn what truth and justice are. If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and those around them. If children live with friendliness, they learn that the world is a nice place in which to live. If children live with serenity, they learn to have a peace of mind. With what are your children living?" - Dorothy Law Nolte

"A slow student is not cured by sarcasm. Mental processes are not mended by mockery. Ridicule breeds hate and invites vengeance. " - Haim Ginott, fully Haim G. Ginott, orignially Ginzburg

"The most human thing we have to do in life is to learn to speak our honest convictions and feelings and live with the consequences. This is the first requirement of love, and it makes us vulnerable to other people who may ridicule us. But our vulnerability is the only thing we can give to other people." - Leo Busacaglia

"A vague uncritical idealism always lends itself to ridicule and too much of it might be a danger to mankind, leading it round in a futile wild-goose chase for imaginary ideals." - Lin Yutang

"Mere intellectuals can never understand me through their intellect. If I am the Highest of the High, it becomes impossible for the intellect to gauge me, nor is it possible for my ways to be fathomed by the limited human mind. I am not to be attained by those who, loving me, stand reverently by in rapt admiration. I am not for those who ridicule me and point at me with contempt. To have a crowd of tens of millions flocking around me is not what I am for." - Meher Baba, born Merwan Sheriar Irani

"Mysticism and exaggeration go together. A mystic must not fear ridicule if he is to push all the way to the limits of humility or the limits of delight." - Milan Kundera

"I advocate the arts of satire and of ridicule. And I see no other living art form for the future. Ridicule is the only honourable weapon we have left." - Muriel Spark, fully Dame Muriel Sarah Camberg Spark

"One does not lash that lies at a distance. The foibles that we ridicule must at least be a little bit our own. Only then will the work be a part of our own flesh. The garden must be weeded." - Paul Klee

"Likewise you should also be very careful never to say anything which implies even the slightest lack of faith, let alone total disbelief. Even if you are a believer in your heart, never express disbelief even as a joke - not even if you are merely quoting someone else to ridicule their opinion. To do this is very wrong and can be very damaging to your faith. Even as a joke it is forbidden say anything which implies disrespect of God." - Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav or Breslov, aka Reb Nachman Breslover or Nachman from Uman NULL

"I do not mean to expose my ideas to ingenious ridicule by maintaining that everything happens to every man for the best; but I will contend, that he who makes the best use of it, fulfills the part of a wise and good man." - Richard Cumberland, Bishop of Peterborough

"I don't believe you until you tell me, do you really believe, for example, if they say they are Catholic, Do you really believe that when a priest blesses a wafer, it turns into the body of Christ? Are you seriously telling me you believe that? Are you seriously saying that wine turns into blood? Mock them. Ridicule them. In public. Don't fall for the convention that we're all too polite to talk about religion. Religion is not off the table. Religion is not off limits. Religion makes specific claims about the universe which need to be substantiated and need to be challenged and, if necessary, need to be ridiculed with contempt." - Richard Dawkins

"The will to power, as the modern age from Hobbes to Nietzsche understood it, far from being a characteristic of the strong, is, like envy and greed, among the vices of the weak, and possibly even their most dangerous one. Power corrupts indeed when the weak band together in order to ruin the strong, but not before." - Saint Thomas Aquinas, aka Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis or Doctor Universalis

"It is foolish to make experiments upon the constancy of a friend, as upon the chastity of a wife." - Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

"I have mastered the principles of several religions. They have all shocked me by the violence which I should have to do to my reason to accept the dogmas of any one of them." - Arthur Conan Doyle, fully Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle

"I have often been amused by our vulgar tendency to take complex issues, with solutions at neither extreme of a continuum of possibilities, and break them into dichotomies, assigning one group to one pole and the other to an opposite end, with no acknowledgment of subtleties and intermediate positions—and nearly always with moral opprobrium attached to opponents." - Stephan Jay Gould

"At many stages in the advance of humanity, this conflict between the men who possess more than they have earned and the men who have earned more than they possess is the central condition of progress. In our day it appears as the struggle of freemen to gain and hold the right of self-government as against the special interests, who twist the methods of free government into machinery for defeating the popular will. At every stage, and under all circumstances, the essence of the struggle is to equalize opportunity, destroy privilege, and give to the life and citizenship of every individual the highest possible value both to himself and to the commonwealth." - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

"We have our little theory on all human and divine things. Poetry, the workings of genius itself, which, in all times, with one or another meaning, has been called Inspiration, and held to be mysterious and inscrutable, is no longer without its scientific exposition. The building of the lofty rhyme is like any other masonry or bricklaying: we have theories of its rise, height, decline and fall -- which latter, it would seem, is now near, among all people." - Thomas Carlyle

"In truth, man is not made to be trusted for life if secured against all liability to account." - Thomas Jefferson

"Responsibility weighs with its heaviest force on a single head." - Thomas Jefferson

"One step above the sublime makes the ridiculous; and one step above the ridiculous makes the sublime again." - Thomas Paine

"The true method of knowledge is experiment." - William Blake

"The Captain approached him coolly and deliberately. “You will prosecute no one now, you bloody informer”, said he; “you will convict no more boys for taking an ould rusty gun an’ pistol from you, or for giving you a neighbourly knock or two into the bargain.” Just then from a window opposite him, proceeded the shrieks of a woman who appeared at it with the infant in her arms. She herself was almost scorched to death; but with the presence of mind and humanity of her sex, she was about to thrust the little babe out of the window. The Captain noticed this, and with characteristic atrocity, thrust, with a sharp bayonet, the little innocent, along with the person who endeavoured to rescue it, into the red flames, where they both perished. This was the work of an instant." - William Carleton

"The science project is to prevent the difficulties of enforcement." - Vauvenargues, Luc de Clapiers, Marquis de Vauvenargues NULL

"A marvel that has nothing to offer, democracy is at once a nation's paradise and its tomb." - Emil M. Cioran

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." - J. R. R. Tolkien, fully John Ronald Reuel Tolkien