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Václav Havel quotes Showing 1-30 of 69

“The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness and human responsibility.”
Vaclav Havel
“Keep the company of those who seek the truth- run from those who have found it”
Vaclav Havel
“Hope is not a feeling of certainty that everything ends well. Hope is just a feeling that life and work have a meaning.”
Vaclav Havel
tags: life
“Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”
Vaclav Havel
tags: hope
“I feel that the dormant goodwill in people needs to be stirred. People need to hear that it makes sense to behave decently or to help others, to place common interests above their own, to respect the elementary rules of human coexistence.”
Vaclav Havel
“Anyone who takes himself too seriously always runs the risk of looking ridiculous; anyone who can consistently laugh at himself does not. ”
Vaclav Havel
“The truth is not simply what you think it is; it is also the circumstances in which it is said, and to whom, why, and how it is said.”
Vaclav Havel
“You do not become a ''dissident'' just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career. You are thrown into it by your personal sense of responsibility, combined with a complex set of external circumstances. You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of conflict with them. It begins as an attempt to do your work well, and ends with being branded an enemy of society.”
Vaclav Havel
“Vision is not enough, it must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps, we must step up the stairs.”
Václav Havel
“As soon as man began considering himself the source of the highest meaning in the world and the measure of everything, the world began to lose its human dimension, and man began to lose control of it.”
Vaclav Havel
“The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less.”
Václav Havel
“The real test of a man is not when he plays the role that he wants for himself but when he plays the role destiny has for him.”
Vaclav Havel
“You can't spend your whole life criticizing something and then, when you have the chance to do it better, refuse to go near it.”
Václav Havel
“Man is not an omipotent master of the universe, allowed to do with impunity whatever he thinks, or whatever suits him at the moment. The world we live in is made of an immensely complex and mysterious tissue about which we know very little and which we must treat with utmost humility.”
vaclav havel
“Hope is the deep orientation of the human soul that can be held at the darkest times.”
Vaclav Havel
“Truth and love will overcome lies and hatred.”
Vaclav Havel
“Isn't it the moment of most profound doubt that gives birth to new certainties? Perhaps hopelessness is the very soil that nourishes human hope; perhaps one could never find sense in life without first experiencing absurdity.”
Václav Havel
“All human suffering concerns each human being”
Vaclav Havel
“There is only one thing I will not concede: that it might be meaningless to strive in a good cause.”
Vaclav Havel, Summer Meditations
“The only thing I can recommend at this stage is a sense of humor, an ability to see things in their ridiculous and absurd dimensions, to laugh at others and at ourselves, a sense of irony regarding everything that calls out for parody in this world. In other words, I can only recommend perspective and distance.”
Václav Havel
“There's always something suspect about an intellectual on the winning side.”
Vaclav Havel
“The worst thing is that we live in a contaminated moral environment. We feel morally ill because we became used to saying something different from what we thought. Concepts such as love, friendship, compassion, humility or forgiveness lost their depth and dimension.”
Václav Havel
“In everyone there is some willingness to merge with the anonymous crowd and to flow comfortably along with it down the river of pseudo-life. This is much more than a simple conflict between two identities. It is something far worse: it is a challenge to the very notion of identity itself.”
Václav Havel, The Power of the Powerless
“The dissident does not operate in the realm of genuine power at all. He is not seeking power. He has no desire for office and does not gather votes. He does not attempt to charm the public, he offers nothing and promises nothing. His actions simply articulate his dignity as a citizen, regardless of the cost.”
Václav Havel
“The kind of hope that I often think about…I understand above all as a state of mind, not a state of the world.

Either we have hope within us, or we don’t. It is a dimension of the soul
It’s not essentially dependent upon some particular observation of the world or estimate of the situation.

Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”
Vaclav Havel
“Just as the constant increase of entropy is the basic law of the universe, so it is the basic law of life to be ever more highly structured and to struggle against entropy.”
Václav Havel
“Even a purely moral act that has no hope of any immediate and visible political effect can gradually and indirectly, over time, gain in political significance.”
Václav Havel
“True enough, the country is calm. Calm as a morgue or a grave, would you not say?”
Václav Havel
“The deeper the experience of an absence of meaning - in other words, of absurdity - the more energetically meaning is sought.”
Václav Havel, Disturbing the Peace: A Conversation with Karel Hvížďala
“In any case, ideals are something we strive for; they are somewhere on the horizon of our efforts; they provide meaning and direction; they are not, however, static quotas that we either fulfill or do not.”
Vaclav Havel

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The Power of the Powerless The Power of the Powerless
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Audience Audience
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Disturbing the Peace: A Conversation with Karel Hvížďala Disturbing the Peace
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