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Václav Havel Quotes

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All human suffering concerns each human being.
Václav Havel
The only lost cause is one we give up on before we enter the struggle.
Václav Havel (Essay - From Prisoner to President)
Man as an observer is becoming completely alienated from himself as a being.
Václav Havel (Speech in Philadelphia - The Need for Transcendence in the Postmodern world, 1994)
Keep the company of those who seek the truth- run from those who have found it.
Václav Havel
We should not forget any of those who paid for our present freedom in one way or another.
Václav Havel (New Year Address in Prague, 1990)
Those that say that individuals are not capable of changing anything are only looking for excuses.
Václav Havel
The existence of a higher authority than man himself simply began to get in the way of human aspirations.
Václav Havel (Speech in Philadelphia - The Need for Transcendence in the Postmodern world, 1994)
Cultural conflicts are increasing and are understandably more dangerous today than at any other time in history. 
Václav Havel (Speech in Philadelphia - The Need for Transcendence in the Postmodern world, 1994)
Hope is not a feeling of certainty that everything ends well. Hope is just a feeling that life and work have a meaning.
Václav Havel
It's not hard to stand behind one's successes. But to accept responsibility for one's failures... that is devishly hard! 
Václav 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.
Václav Havel (Disturbing the Peace, 1986)
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, 1986)
If the world is to change for the better it must start with a change in human consciousness, in the very humanness of modern man.
Václav Havel (Disturbing the Peace, 1986)
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 (Letters to Olga, 1988)
We are mysteriously connected to the entire universe, we are mirrored in it, just as the entire evolution of the universe is mirrored in us.
Václav Havel (Speech in Philadelphia - The Need for Transcendence in the Postmodern world, 1994)
Anyone who takes himself too seriously always runs the risk of looking ridiculous; anyone who can consistently laugh at himself does not.
Václav Havel (Disturbing the Peace, 1986)
The real test of a man is not how well he plays the role he has invented for himself, but how well he plays the role that destiny assigned to him.
Václav Havel (Disturbing the Peace, 1986)
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.
Václav Havel (International Herald Tribune, 1990)
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 (Letter to Gustav Husak, 1975)
The worst thing is that we live in a contaminated moral environment. We fell morally ill because we became used to saying something different from what we thought.
Václav Havel (New Year Address in Prague, 1990)
The dissident does not operate in the realm of genuine power at all. He is not seeking power. His actions simply articulate his dignity as a citizen, regardless of the cost.
Václav Havel (Living in Truth, 1986)
None of us know all the potentialities that slumber in the spirit of the population, or all the ways in which that population can surprise us when there is the right interplay of events.
Václav Havel (Disturbing the Peace, 1986)
Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.
Václav Havel (Disturbing the Peace, 1986)
An amalgamation of cultures is taking place. I see it as proof that something is happening, something is being born, that we are in a phase when one age is succeeding another, when everything is possible.
Václav Havel (Speech in Philadelphia - The Need for Transcendence in the Postmodern world, 1994)
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.
Václav Havel (Disturbing the Peace, 1986)
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 its absurdity...
Václav Havel (Essay - From Prisoner to President)
People have passed through a very dark tunnel at the end of which there was a light of freedom. Unexpectedly they passed through the prison gates and found themselves in a square. They are now free and they don't know where to go.
Václav Havel
A human action becomes genuinely important when it springs from the soil of a clearsighted awareness of the temporality and the ephemorality of everything human. It is only this awareness that can breathe any greatness into an action.
Václav Havel (Disturbing the Peace, 1986)
Because it is founded on the search for universal laws, it cannot deal with singularity, that is, with uniqueness. The universe is a unique event and a unique story, and so far we are the unique point of that story. But unique events and stories are the domain of poetry, not science. 
Václav Havel (Speech in Philadelphia - The Need for Transcendence in the Postmodern world, 1994)
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.
Václav Havel
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Václav Havel Biography

Born: October 5, 1936
Died: December 18, 2011

Václav Havel was a Czech writer, dramatist and president. He is best known for his activism and his presidency of Czechoslovakia and later the Czech Republic.

Notable Works
The Memorandum (1965)
Unveiling (1975)
Letters to Olga (1988)
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