Friday, November 25, 2011

Make your choice!

Napoleon Bonaparte left a lot of quotes that summarized his thoughts about many different topics. There are many referred to war and fighting, such as "Soldiers generally win battles; generals get credit for them" or "One must change one´s tactics every ten years if one wishes to maintain one´s superiority". Others were related to government, such as "Men are more easily governed through their vices than through their virtues" or "The man fitted for affairs and authority never considers individuals, but things and their consequences". He also thought about revolution and wrote "A revolution is an idea, taken up by bayonets" and "A revolution can be neither made nor stopped. The only thing that can be done is for one of several of its children to give it a direction by dint of victories". He also expressed his opinion about religion, for example when he said "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich", "Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet" or "If I had to choose a religion, the sun as the universal giver of life would be my god". His thoughts about human nature are very interesting as well: " A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights", "The surest way to remain poor is to be an honest man" or "Men are moved by two levers only: fear and interest". His reflection on history was "History is a set of lies agreed upon". But his opinion about women was more negative and controversial: "Women are nothing but machines for producing children". And this is what he said about the Spanish people: "Of all the peoples of Europe, Spaniards disgust me the least". 

There are a lot of interesting Napoleon´s quotes. Here you have a selection of the ones I most like. Which one do you prefer? Leave your opinions on the comments´ section.

  • A true man hates no one
  • The only conquests that are permanent and leave no regrets are our conquests over ourselves
  • There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run the sword will always be conquered by the spirit
  • Courage isn't having the strength to go on - it is going on when you don't have strength.
  • Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action comes, stop thinking and go in
  • The only victories which leave no regret are those which are gained over ignorance
  • To listen to the interests of all, marks an ordinary government; to foresee them, marks a great government.
  • Truth fears no question
  • Show me a family of readers and I will show you the people who move the world.
  • The people to fear are not those who disagree with you, but those who disagree with you and are too cowardly to let you know.
  • The greatness of a man is not measured from his feet to his head, but from his head to the sky
  • A leader is a dealer in hope
  • It requires more courage to suffer than to die.
  • Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress.
  • War is the business of barbarians


Paqui Pérez Fons said...

I´ve chosen this one: "The only victories which leave no regret are those which are gained over ignorance". I think war against ignorance is worthwhile and victories in this field are good for everyone. No one suffers or if you suffer during the process, the victory in this fight compensates all the bad things.

This is only one of the quotes I most like. I could have chosen at least 10 more !

Ana de la Fuente said...

I have chosen: " the greatness of a man is not measured from his feet to his head, but from his head to the sky".

Paqui Pérez Fons said...

Ana, you have to explain why you like it.

Alejandro Torrillas said...

I've chosen, "A leader is a dealer in hope" they're the most important ones and if they lost their hope it's almost impossible to their followers to raise up their heads, because they become disheartened.

Paqui Pérez Fons said...

Hello Alejandro. I think the sentence you´ve chosen has another sense. "Dealer" means someone who makes business buying or selling things, such a "drug dealer". I think Napoleon said this cynically: leaders deal with people´s hopes. People pin their hopes on leaders, but leaders use these hopes at their convenience. What do you think?

Alejandro Torrillas said...

I thought he refers in leader as the people in which the citizens put their trust, they can't fail to the people and they have to reached a common good.
But according to this sense you've tell me I think it a perfect sentence to describe politics in those last years. We've trust our hope and our sates in people of little confidence. They have become rich at our cost and they have been very important to reach the actual world crisis.
Bye see you on Monday.

Javier Alberca said...

Hello! I've chosen "Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action comes, stop thinking and go in" because I think that when it's time to act we can't be stopped, we have to go in and do what we think that we have to do with all the consequences.

See you!!

Paqui Pérez Fons said...

Everybody is choosing different quotes. That means that there are many interesting thoughts reflected in Napoleon´s quotes ;)

Laura Meco said...

Paqui I love this kind of activities. I learn a lot with these phrases and they make me reflect about many things.
But finally I've chosen this one:
"Courage isn't having the strength to go on - it is going on when you don't have strength."
It expresses a really big truth: it is really worthy of admiration to go on when you think that you can't continue. Who gets this and who is able to go on when there are a lot of problems pull himself together. That's all! See you!

Paqui Pérez Fons said...

That´s a wise quote as well. It´s easy to surrender when you´re tired. But the most difficult thing is going on and trying again when everything is going wrong. No surrender!

Laura Meco said...

I agree Paqui! When we feel weak we should remember this quote! I'm sure it will help us :)

Rebeca García said...

Hello!! As Laura said, I like this type of activities also, and I think about the meaning of all of them and I try to apply to my present life. I´ve chosen: The greatness of a man is not measured from his feet to his head, but from his head to the sky, because I think that we think many times in the physical aspect of a person, and we thought that is better because is taller or more beautiful, but the things that we have to take into account are that a person is important by her values knowledges and her way of thinking. And now we still having a materialist society and our way of thinking should change.

Paqui Pérez Fons said...

Hello Rebeca,

I think many people would like this quote and not only because I said it in the classroom answering to Ángel´s comment ;P

Napoleon wasn´t very tall, but he wasn´t as short as people tend to think. His height was normal in that period, but he was a great man in many senses. He was not only a general or a politician, but a person who liked thinking and writing his thoughts about many different topics. This is why we can enjoy them and learn from them. I agree with this quote and with you: people´s greatness should be measured taking into account the things they do. In this sense, nature is wise, because the physical conditions deteriorate as time goes by, but greatness increases ;)

Have a look on the visits´counter !

Alberto Panadero said...

Yesterday, I chose "war is the business of barbarians" but I haven't my comment! I said that I didn'd consider any explanation for this one.
See you on Internet!

Silvia said...

For me my favourite quote is: Truth fears no question. Because truth is over all the things.