TOP 16 QUOTES BY GEORGE BERNARD SHAW

Last updated on August 23rd, 2020 at 07:19 pm

An Irish playwright, a socialist and a critic, Bernard Shaw, as he preferably calls himself, is a blend of a fearless soldier ready to take over any circumstance no matter how unfavourable it might be, and a brave and knowledgeable teacher who guides every individual ( read ‘readers’) through his teachings. He may sound sarcastic and ironical at times but still has his foot grounded to reality.

Shaw’s sense of imagination and creative expression is incomparable. His quotes provide a glimpse to his own genius and gives reason to those going through hard times in life to buck up and stand strong against all odds.

Our Top 16 Quotes by George Bernard Shaw

  1. “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

=> True. Change is the only permanent thing in the world. Being open-minded to perceive everything new and better enables one to move towards much more better places. To bring about a change, our minds must accept the change that we want to make. Only this will help in making progress.

  1. “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

=> Where communication nowadays has taken shape in social networks, there seems to be a gap in conveying ourselves rightly. It gets worse when we have conversations in our minds leading to assumptions, which stagnates our own perceptions.

  1. “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”
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=> We may have heard it a number of times that a person learns from his mistakes, for only after committing a mistake does he know, what and how not to do it. So lets not be afraid to take initiatives and giving it a try. If we succeed, good, if not it will be a lesson learnt.

  1. “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”

=> Pointless arguments must be avoided at any cost. It is sure to deteriorate our standard of communication. Better to discuss and negotiate instead of arguing, for the former would be more appreciated.

5.”The only I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements a new each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.”

=> This famous line from ‘Man and Superman’ highlights the fact that people  want us to act according to what they wish and expect us to behave as might be favourable to them. A perfect quote it is that expresses the sensibilities of the modern world. Shaw’s ironical expression lashes out this perception that is quite common to all people.

6.”If you can’t appreciate what you’ve got, you’d better get what you can appreciate.”

=> This line from Shaw’s famous work, ‘Pygmalion’ is motivating enough to enable one to keep on moving ahead and achieve what is truly desired. Do what you really enjoy doing. Though many people vouch for the same, as does Shaw, very few can actually follow. Truth remains that doing what we enjoy can only bring satisfaction to our mind and soul.


7.”People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on this world are people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.”

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=> Another motivational quote by Shaw about overcoming obstacles, accepting the challenges that life has to offer and always be boosted with determination and self-confidence.

8.”All great truths begin as blasphemies.”

=> Though labelled as profane and initially denied, truth doesn’t change. So says Shaw in this line from ‘Annajanska the Bolshevik Express’.

9.”If you leave the smallest corner of your head vacant for a moment, other people’s opinions will rush in from all quarters.”

=>True. So lets keep our minds occupied with what we love to do be it sports or reading and keep interfering opinions at bay.

10.”Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself.”

=> Sure does ‘Reading maketh a man’. Reading provides window to a new world. It has the strength to shape up an individual’s character. Meaningful books offer values and may have deep impacts on a child. Surely we want these impacts to enhance positivity in children.

11.”He knows nothing, and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.”

=> Shaw points out the arrogance and ignorance of politicians in his famous piece of work ‘Major Barbara’.

12.”I don’t know if there are men on the moon, but if there are they must be using the earth as their lunatic asylum.”

=> Funny but lets ponder over this ourselves.

13.”You may use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.”

=> Art is a window to imagination, to beauty, to vividness, to the expected and the unexpected. It is the mirror reflecting our own souls. This line from ‘Back to Methuselah’ highlights the importance of art.

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14.”As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death.”

=> Lets keep on desiring and proceed towards accomplishing it. Then we will have a life worth living. So say the lines from ‘Overruled’.

15.”I’m not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead- ahead of myself as well as you.”

=>Beautifully does Shaw define a  teacher and teaching.

16.”If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still have an apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.”

=> Knowledge is the only thing that solely increases when shared. Expressing our views and ideas would welcome many more which would add up to our pre-existing knowledge.