Learning

The business and end of our existence is to learn. We are here really to acquire knowledge of the infinite wisdom, love of the infinite goodness, enjoyment of the infinite blessedness. That is, we are here to study.
~ William Rounseville (W.R.) Alger, The School of Life (1881). Education the Business of Life

Who learns and learns, but acts not what he knows,
Is one who ploughs and ploughs, but never sows.
~ William Rounseville (W.R.) Alger, from The Poetry of the East (1856). Metrical Specimens ... Precept Without Practice

Much of what I know of teaching is tentative, contingent and uncertain. I learned it by living it, by doing it and so what I know is necessarily ragged and rough and unfinished. As with any journey, it can seem neat and certain, even painless, looking backward. On the road, looking forward, there is nothing easy or obvious about it. It is hard, grinding, difficult work.
~ William C. ("Bill") Ayers, To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher (1993).

Trees and rocks do not indulge in the impertinence of foisting lessons upon us. Their method of instruction is more circuitous and indirect, but perhaps all the more potent for that. Their first lesson is to draw us outside the narrow and presumptuous horizons of our humanism.
~ William E. Barrett, The Illusion of Technique: A Search for Meaning in a Technological Civilization (1978).

This whole world is a school for man.
~ William Bates, in The Works of the Late Reverend and Learned William Bates, D.D. (1700). A Discourse of Divine Meditation

I learn about acting by watching real people. If I'm trying to interpret a new character I'll find someone who suits that character and I'll watch him.
~ Bill Bixby, in TV Picture Life (September 1964).

The eagle never lost so much time as when he submitted to learn of the crow.
~ William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790-93). Proverbs of Hell

The more you learn to do with yourself, and the more you do for others, the more you will learn to enjoy the abundant life.
~ William J.H. Boetcker

In my day, the principal concerns of university students were sex, smoking dope, rioting and learning. Learning was something you did only when the first three weren't available.
~ Bill Bryson, The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America (1989).

There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.
~ Willa Sibert Cather, The Song of the Lark (1915). Part VI. Kronborg. Chapter VII

Every man, in whatsoever condition, is to be a student. No matter what other vocation he may have, his chief vocation is to Think.
~ William Ellery Channing (D.D.), Lectures On The Elevation Of The Labouring Portion Of The Community (1840). Lecture I (delivered in Boston MA; 9 January 1840)

Manual labor is a school in which men are placed to get energy of purpose and character, a vastly more important endowment than all the learning of all other schools.
~ William Ellery Channing (D.D.), Lectures On The Elevation Of The Labouring Portion Of The Community (1840). Lecture I (delivered in Boston MA; 9 January 1840)

The learning commonly gathered from books is of less worth than the truths we gain from experience and reflection.
~ William Ellery Channing (D.D.), Lectures On The Elevation Of The Labouring Portion Of The Community (1840). Lecture II (delivered in Boston MA; 16 January 1840)

I am something of a scholar myself ... books and literature have been my delight; I honour learning, find it where I will.
~ William Cobbett, in the Political Register (21 April 1821).

It is no small mischief to a boy, that many of the best years of his life should be devoted to the learning of what can never be of any real use to any human being. His mind is necessarily rendered frivolous and superficial by the long habit of attaching importance to words instead of things; to sound instead of sense.
~ William Cobbett, in The Opinions of William Cobbett (1944). Chapter 16 (in the Political Register, London, 29 November 1817, "To Mr. Benbow")

[L]earning consists of ideas, and not of the noise that is made by the mouth.
~ William Cobbett, A Grammar of the English Language, in a Series of Letters (1818). Letter XXI. Specimens of False Grammar, Taken from the Writings of Doctor Johnson and from those of Doctor Watts

No, I'm no enemy to learning; it hurts not me.
~ William Congreve, The Way of the World (1700). Act III, scene xiii

Since I was diagnosed with dyslexia, I have had a passion to work with my dyslexia. I could not wait to find out about my strengths and weaknesses.
~ Ennis William Cosby, in Hello Friend / Ennis William Cosby Foundation Remembering Ennis (1998)

All learned, and all drunk!
~ William Cowper, The Task (1785). Book IV. The Winter Evening

Here the heart
May give a useful lesson to the head,
And Learning wiser grow without his books.
~ William Cowper, The Task (1785). Book VI. The Winter Walk At Noon

Learn wisdom and repentance ere too late.
~ William Cowper, from Poems by William Cowper of the Inner Temple, Esq. (1782). Table Talk (written in 1781)

Sorting and puzzling with a deal of glee
Those seeds of science call'd his ABC.
~ William Cowper, from Poems by William Cowper of the Inner Temple, Esq. (1782). Conversation

If we live to learn, we shall indeed unlearn as well as learn, which will be the case with us all, more or less; nor shall we be ashamed of changing our opinion, if we do it from proper motives.
~ William Danby, Thoughts on Various Subjects (1831). Preface

What may we not pick up in the "broad highway of the world?"
~ William Danby, Ideas and Realities, or Thoughts on Various Subjects (1827).

Learning is not compulsory but neither is survival.
~ W. Edwards Deming

No man is so learned but he may be taught; neither is any so illiterate but he may teach.
~ William Scott Downey, Proverbs, by Rev. William Scott Downey (1851 edition).

When your views on the world and your intellect are being challenged and you begin to feel uncomfortable because of a contradiction you've detected that is threatening your current model of the world or some aspect of it, pay attention. You are about to learn something. This discomfort and intellectual conflict is when learning is taking place.
~ William H. Drury, quoted in Chance and Change: A collection of essays on human ecology written the faculty and staff of College of the Atlantic (Dedication, 1991)

Of all the civil rights for which the world has struggled and fought for 5,000 years, the right to learn is undoubtedly the most fundamental. ... The freedom to learn ... has been bought by bitter sacrifice. And whatever we may think of the curtailment of other civil rights, we should fight to the last ditch to keep open the right to learn ...
~ William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B.) Du Bois, in Midwest Journal 2 (Winter 1949). The Freedom to Learn

A wise man can learn from another man's experience; a fool cannot learn even from his own.
~ William James "Will" Durant

[N]obody can teach anybody anything, I'm convinced of that. You've got to want to know it. You've got to want to learn it.
~ William Faulkner, in Faulkner in the University (1959). Session Twenty-Two

Practice being excited.
~ William Hendrick "Bill" Foster

It ought to make the man of learning modest to reflect how much of error there has been in the so-called knowledge of the time. How long the world has been in unlearning the things that have been learned before!
~ William Dudley Foulke, Protean Papers (1903). A Broad View of the Disadvantages of a University Education

We must learn to welcome and not to fear the voices of dissent.
~ J. William Fulbright, Speech in the U.S. Senate (27 March 1964).

One of the reasons mature people stop learning is that they become less and less willing to risk failure.
~ John William Gardner, No Easy Victories (1968).

There is no learning without some difficulty and fumbling. If you want to keep on learning, you must keep on risking failure -- all your life.
~ John William Gardner, Self-Renewal: The Individ­ual and the Innovative Society (1963).

We must learn to honor excellence in every socially accepted human activity, however humble the activity, and to scorn shoddiness, however exalted the activity.
~ John William Gardner, Excellence: Can We Be Equal and Excellent Too? (1961).

I like my job because it involves learning. I like being around smart people who are trying to figure out new things.
~ Bill Gates

It's fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.
~ Bill Gates, in US Airways Magazine (July 1995). Bill Gates: The Importance of Making Mistakes

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.
~ Bill Gates, Business @ the Speed of Thought (1999).

For my own part, as I have been a learner all my life, a learner I must continue to be.
~ William Ewart Gladstone, Speech at Norwich (16 May 1890)

It is probable that there is no one thing that it is of eminent importance for a child to learn. The true object of juvenile education, is to provide, against the age of five and twenty, a mind well regulated, active, and prepared to learn. Whatever will inspire habits of industry and observation, will sufficiently answer this purpose.
~ William Godwin, The Enquirer: Reflections on Education, Manners and Literature in a Series of Essays (1797). Part I. Essay IX: Of the Communication of Knowledge

Learning is the ally, not the adversary of genius ... he who reads in a proper spirit, can scarcely read too much.
~ William Godwin, The Enquirer: Reflections on Education, Manners and Literature in a Series of Essays (1797). Part II. Essay XI: Of Learning

The pupil must learn to exclude and ignore the many things before him, and to concentrate all his powers of mind on the one chosen subject.
~ William Torrey Harris, from the International Education Series, Volume VIII (1888). Memory: what it is and how to improve it. Editor's Preface

Learning is, in too many cases, but a foil to common sense; a substitute for true knowledge.
~ William Hazlitt, Table-Talk; or, Original Essays (1821-1822). Essay VIII. On the Ignorance of the Learned

Learning is its own exceeding great reward.
~ William Hazlitt, from The Plain Speaker, Volume II (1826). Essay X. On Old English Writers and Speakers

Learning is the knowledge of that which is not generally known to others, and which we can only derive at second-hand from books or other artificial sources. The knowledge of that which is before us, or about us, which appeals to our experience, passions, and pursuits, to the bosom and businesses of men, is not learning. Learning is the knowledge of that which none but the learned know.
~ William Hazlitt, Table-Talk; or, Original Essays (1821-1822). Essay VIII. On the Ignorance of the Learned

Men of a learned education are not so sharp-witted as clever men without it: but they know the balance of the human intellect better.
~ William Hazlitt, Table-Talk; or, Original Essays (1821-1822). Essay VI. Character of Cobbett

Nothing was ever learnt by either side in a dispute.
~ William Hazlitt, from The Plain Speaker, Volume I (1826). Essay III. On the Conversation of Authors (first published in the London Magazine; September 1820)

That which any one has been long learning unwillingly, he unlearns with proportionable eagerness and haste.
~ William Hazlitt, from The Plain Speaker, Volume II (1826). Essay IV. On Personal Character

The most learned are often the most narrow-minded men.
~ William Hazlitt, Characteristics: in the Manner of Rochefoucault's Maxims (1837 edition).

You will learn more by agreeing in the main with others, and entering into their trains of thinking, than by contradicting and urging them to extremities.
~ William Hazlitt, Table-talk; Or, Original Essays, Volume II (1825 edition). On The Conduct Of Life; or, Advice to a School-Boy (1822 essay)

The biggest hindrance to learning is fear of showing one's self a fool.
~ William Least Heat-Moon, Blue Highways: A Journey into America (1982).

The learner always begins by finding fault, but the scholar sees the positive merit in everything.
~ Georg Wilhelm Friedrich (G.W.F.) Hegel, The Philosophy of Right (1821). Section 268

Cramming seeks to stamp things in by intense application immediately before the ordeal. But a thing thus learned can form but few associations. On the other hand, the same thing recurring on different days, in different contexts, read, recited on, referred to again and again, related to other things and reviewed, gets well wrought into the mental structure.
~ William James, Talks to Teachers on Psychology: and to Students on Some of Life's Ideals (March 1899). Talks to Teachers. XII. Memory

Hardly ever can a youth transferred to the society of his betters unlearn the nasality and other vices of speech bred in him by the associations of his growing years.
~ William James, in The Popular Science Monthly (February 1887). The Laws of Habit

The torch of learning passes from land to land as the spirit bloweth the flame.
~ William James, A Pluralistic Universe (1909). I. The Types of Philosophic Thinking

I have learned a lot from criticism, and I have a lot more to learn yet.
~ William Eugene ("Pussyfoot") Johnson, from "Pussyfoot" Johnson: Crusader--Reformer--A Man Among Men (1920). Preface

I grew up in a neighborhood so rough, I learned to read by the light of a police helicopter.
~ Bill Jones

The most important single thing in publishing is the English sentence, and the editor who cannot contemplate it again and again with a sense of wonder has not yet gained respect for the complexity of learning.
~ William Jovanovich, Now, Barabbas (1960).

It is very true that precepts are useful, the practice and imitation go far beyond them; hence the importance of watching early habits, that they may be free from what is objectionable; and of keeping before our mind, as much as possible, the necessity of imitating the good and the wise.
~ Sir William Knighton, 1st Baronet, in Memoirs of Sir William Knighton, Bart., G.C.H.: Keeper Of The Privy Purse (1838). Chapter XIX (Letter to his son; 7 November 1828)

Because of the advancement of knowledge, learning will become not a one-time event like a vaccination, but rather an ongoing process for life.
~ William Knoke, Bold New World: The Essential Road Map to the Twenty-First Century (1996).

I'm still pretty ticked off. You learn from your mistakes, and I have 5 1/2 months to learn from them.
~ Billy Koch, The San Jose Mercury News (8 October 2002). 'I cost us,' Koch says: Closer Takes Blame For A's Game 5 Loss

[H]e who has learned to pray has learned the greatest secret of a holy and happy life.
~ William Law, A Practical Treatise upon Christian Perfection (1726). Chapter XII

It is salutary to train oneself to be no more affected by censure than by praise.
~ W. Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up (1938).

No matter what you do, no matter how stupid, dumb or damaging you judge it to be, there is a lesson to be learned from it. No matter what happens to you, no matter how unfair, inequitable or wrong, there's something you can take from the situation and use for your advancement.
~ Peter McWilliams, Life 101: Everything We Wished We Had Learned about Life in School--But Didn't (August 1994).

I've known countless people who were reservoirs of learning, yet never had a thought.
~ Wilson Mizner

What happens to me when I learn something new, and it happens every day, is that I just feel a little more at home in this universe -- a little more comfortable in the nest.
~ Bill Moyers, in The Humanist (January/February 1989), Volume 49. Isaac Asimov Speaks

Learn the fundamentals of the game and stick to them. Band-aid remedies never last.
~ Jack William Nicklaus

The doer alone learneth.
~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

We ought to learn from the kine one thing: ruminating.
~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra (1885).

When one has finished building one's house, one suddenly realizes that in the process one has learned something that one really needed to know in the worst way -- before one began.
~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Whoever is related to me in the height of his aspirations will experience veritable ecstasies of learning; for I come from heights that no bird ever reached in its flight, I know abysses into which no foot ever strayed.
~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Nobody is too old to learn -- but a lot of people keep putting it off.
~ William O'Neill, quoted in The Official Explanations (1980).

At the end of the day, every child has learned the Lesson of Spin: Almost every wrong action can be stripped of consequences, along with the need for feelings of guilt and remorse.
~ Bill O'Reilly, The No-Spin Zone (October 2001). Introduction

Observe, record, tabulate, communicate. Use your five senses. ... Learn to see, learn to hear, learn to feel, learn to smell, and know that by practice alone you can become expert.
~ William Osler, quoted in Osler and Other Papers (1931). Osler the Teacher

Warn'd by my fate, to learn, for learn you must
that all your fame, like mine, but turns to dust.
~ William Pattison, The Hour Glass

Love is the hardest lesson in Christianity; but, for that reason, it should be most our care to learn it.
~ William Penn, Some Fruits of Solitude (1693). Part I. Religion

A wise man makes what he learns his own, the other shows he is but a copy or a collection at most.
~ William Penn, Some Fruits of Solitude (1693). Part I. Knowledge

Information is a source of learning. But unless it is organized, processed, and available to the right people in a format for decision making, it is a burden, not a benefit. It is just data, not information.
~ C. William Pollard, The Soul of the Firm (December 1996).

Learning should spring from a quest for truth.
~ C. William Pollard, The Soul of the Firm (December 1996).

Here's a health to every learned man who goes by common sense.
~ William J. Macquorn Rankine, in Songs and Fables (1874). Songs. The Three-Foot Rule

A man only learns by two things; one is reading and the other is association with smarter people.
~ Will Rogers, in The Will Rogers Book (1961).

I never go through a day that I am not sorry for the idea I had of how to go to school and not learn anything.
~ Will Rogers, in The Autobiography of Will Rogers (1949).

Instead of giving money to found colleges to promote learning, why don't they pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting anybody from learning anything? If it works as good as the Prohibition one did, why, in five years we would have the smartest race of people on earth.
~ Will Rogers

You must never tell a thing. You must illustrate it. We learn through the eye and not the noggin.
~ Will Rogers, in The Will Rogers Book (1961).

Life is a process. We are a process. The universe is a process.
~ Anne Wilson Schaef, Living in Process: Basic Truths For Living The Path Of The Soul (1999).

We don't make mistakes. We just have learnings.
~ Anne Wilson Schaef

[A]ll the learned and authentic fellows.
~ William Shakespeare, All's Well that Ends Well. Act II, scene iii

[H]e's gentle, never schooled, and yet learned.
~ William Shakespeare, As You Like It. Act I, scene i

I am slow of study.
~ William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream. Act I, scene ii

I pray you, school yourself.
~ William Shakespeare, Macbeth. Act IV, scene ii

I shall the effect of this good lesson keep
As watchman to my heart.
~ William Shakespeare, Hamlet. Act I, scene iii

Never learned
The icy precepts of respect.
~ William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens

O this learning, what a thing it is!
~ William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew. Act I, scene ii

What is the end of study? let me know.
~ William Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost. Act I, scene i

Learning, like money, may be of so base a coin, as to be utterly void of use; or, if sterling, may require good management to make it serve the purpose of sense or happiness.
~ William Shenstone, in Works in Verse and Prose, Vol. II (1764). Essays on Men, Manners, and Things. On Books and Writers

All students can learn and succeed, but not on the same day in the same way.
~ William G. Spady

Nothing is truly ours but what we learn by heart.
~ William Wetmore Story, from Poems By William Wetmore Story (1856). Couplets. XX

The modern child, when asked what he learned today, replies, "Nothing, but I gained some meaningful insights."
~ William E. "Bill" Vaughan

We learn something every day, and lots of times it's that what we learned the day before was wrong.
~ William E. "Bill" Vaughan

Blessed is he who has learned
To admire but not envy,
To follow but not imitate,
To praise but not flatter,
And to lead but not manipulate.
~ William Arthur Ward

Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning.
~ William Arthur Ward

A little learning is not a dangerous thing to one who does not mistake it for a great deal.
~ William Allen White, quoted in Reader's Digest (August 1958).

Live to learn, and learn to live
If you want to give men knowledge
You must get, ere you give.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox, from Poems of Power (1901). Wishing

In order to learn, there must be two ingredients: humility and interest.
~ Bill Wilkinson, Attunement With Life (1986).

The green world was ... unpredictable and chaotic. It was an unmediated place literally represented by the forest, the wilderness, where you learned things you don't necessarily want to know about yourself.
~ Dar Williams, Razor & Tie Entertainment (2001)

I have always found it difficult to study. I have learnt almost entirely what I have learnt by trying it on the dog.
~ Ralph Vaughan Williams, in Ralph Vaughan Williams: A Study (1950).

Of course we can learn everything from the great masters and one of the great things we can learn from them is their sureness of purpose.
~ Ralph Vaughan Williams, from National Music (1934).

Like new ways of seeing, old ways must be actively learned.
~ Raymond Henry Williams, The Long Revolution (1961). Chapter 1. The Creative Mind

What is the most important thing one learns in school? Self-esteem, support, and friendship.
~ Terry Tempest Williams, Pieces of White Shell: A Journey to Navajoland (1984).

Only the curious will learn and only the resolute overcome the obstacles to learning. The quest quotient has always excited me more than the intelligence quotient.
~ Eugene S. Wilson, in Reader's Digest (April 1968)

They took a little country boy and put him in a big city with big money and he didn't know how to act, I had a hard life, but I learned, I learned.
~ J. Frank Wilson

I am learning more about everything, including how to learn more.
~ Robert Anton Wilson, The Illuminati Papers (1980).

The only good of flattery is that by hearing what we are not we are instructed what we ought to be.
~ William Wycherley, in The Posthumous Works of William Wycherley, Esq. in Prose and Verse (1728). Maxims and Reflections

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A Collection of Quotes Based on the Name William