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Understanding quotes

A man may imagine things that are false, but he can only understand things that are true, for if the things be false, the apprehension of them is not understanding.

- Newton, Sir Isaac

Seek first to understand and then to be understood.

- Covey, Stephen R.

Ready comprehension is often a knee-jerk response and the most dangerous form of understanding. It blinks an opaque screen over your ablility to learn. The judgemental precedents of law function that way, littering your path with dead ends. Be warned. Understand nothing. All comprehension is temporary.

- Frank Herbert

When I want to understand what is happening today or try to decide what will happen tomorrow, I look back.

- Holmes Jr., Oliver Wendell

I have found you an argument: but I am not obliged to find you an understanding.

- Samuel Johnson

Science has a simple faith, which transcends utility. Nearly all men of science, all men of learning for that matter, and men of simple ways too, have it in some form and in some degree. It is the faith that it is the privilege of man to learn to understand, and that this is his mission. If we abandon that mission under stress we shall abandon it forever, for stress will not cease. Knowledge for the sake of understanding, not merely to prevail, that is the essence of our being. None can define its limits, or set its ultimate boundaries.

- Bush, Vannevar

When you really trust someone, you have to be okay with not understanding some things.

- Real Live Preacher

Ninety-nine percent of all problems in communications start with misunderstandings which develop as a result of differing viewpoints and conditioning.


The miracle of friendship can be spoken without words... hearing unspoken needs, recognizing secret dreams, understanding the silent things that only true friend know.


Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom; and with all your getting get understanding.

- Bible

The man whose whole life is spent in performing a few simple operations, of which the effects are perhaps always the same, or very nearly the same, has no occasion to exert his understanding or to exercise his invention in finding out expedients for removing difficulties which never occur. He naturally loses, therefore, the habit of such exertion, and generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become.

- Adam Smith

It is better to understand a little than to misunderstand a lot.

- France, Anatole

When you cease to strive to understand, then you will know without understanding.

- Proverb, Chinese

True humor is fun - it does not put down, kid, or mock. It makes people feel wonderful, not separate, different, and cut off. True humor has beneath it the understanding that we are all in this together.

- Hugh Prather

UNDERSTANDING does not necessarily mean AGREEMENT.


True wisdom is seeing what is beneficial to your eternal life, and managing your life according to that. You do this when you not only know these things and grasp them with your understanding, but also will and do them.

- Emanuel Swedenborg

Fear sometimes stops you from doing stupid things. But it can also stop you from doing creative or exciting or experimental things. It can cloud your judgment of others, and lead to all kinds of evil. The control and understanding of our personal fears is one of the most important undertakings in our life.

- Helen Mirren

No law or ordinance is mightier than understanding.

- Plato

It is the duty of the human understanding to understand that there are things which it cannot understand, and what those things are. Human understanding has vulgarly occupied itself with nothing but understanding, but if it would only take the trouble to understand itself at the same time it would simply have to posit the paradox.

- Kierkegaard, S°ren

Be sure that no one knows so little of his fellow-men as the cynical, misanthropic man, who walks in darkness because he hates his brother. Be sure that the truly wise and understanding man is he who by sympathy puts himself in his neighbours' place; feels with them and for them; sees with their eyes, hears with their ears; and therefore understands them, makes allowances for them, and is merciful to them, even as his Father in heaven is merciful.

- Westminster Sermons. 1872.

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