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Vaclav Havel, Czechoslovakian Leader ( October 5, 1936 - )

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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.~Vaclav Havel


Hope Optimism Same

Drama assumes an order. If only so that it might have - by disrupting that order - a way of surprising.~Vaclav Havel


Drama Way Order

I really do inhabit a system in which words are capable of shaking the entire structure of government, where words can prove mightier than ten military divisions.~Vaclav Havel


Words Government Military

When a truth is not given complete freedom, freedom is not complete.~Vaclav Havel


Freedom Truth Truth Is

The attempt to devote oneself to literature alone is a most deceptive thing, and often, paradoxically, it is literature that suffers for it.~Vaclav Havel


Alone Literature Most

Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good.~Vaclav Havel


Success Work Hope

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.~Vaclav Havel


Surprise Events Know

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.~Vaclav Havel


Life Struggle Law

Modern man must descend the spiral of his own absurdity to the lowest point; only then can he look beyond it. It is obviously impossible to get around it, jump over it, or simply avoid it.~Vaclav Havel


Man Impossible Look

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


Hope Certainty Sense

There's always something suspect about an intellectual on the winning side.~Vaclav Havel


Winning Intellectual Side

Hope is a feeling that life and work have meaning. You either have it or you don't, regardless of the state of the world that surrounds you.~Vaclav Havel


Life Work Hope

There are times when we must sink to the bottom of our misery to understand truth, just as we must descend to the bottom of a well to see the stars in broad daylight.~Vaclav Havel


Truth Stars See

But if I were to say who influenced me most, then I'd say Franz Kafka. And his works were always anchored in the Central European region.~Vaclav Havel


Me Most Say

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.~Vaclav Havel


Life Hope Moment

Anyone who takes himself too seriously always runs the risk of looking ridiculous; anyone who can consistently laugh at himself does not.~Vaclav Havel


Risk Laugh Looking

Sometimes I wonder if suicides aren't in fact sad guardians of the meaning of life.~Vaclav Havel


Life Sad Meaning Of Life

Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed.~Vaclav Havel


Work Good Chance

If we are to change our world view, images have to change. The artist now has a very important job to do. He's not a little peripheral figure entertaining rich people, he's really needed.~Vaclav Havel


Change Job World

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.~Vaclav Havel


Life Man Meaning

Lying can never save us from another lie.~Vaclav Havel


Lie Lying Never

Without free, self-respecting, and autonomous citizens there can be no free and independent nations. Without internal peace, that is, peace among citizens and between the citizens and the state, there can be no guarantee of external peace.~Vaclav Havel


Peace Free Independent

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


Man World Control

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


Power Heart Responsibility

The exercise of power is determined by thousands of interactions between the world of the powerful and that of the powerless, all the more so because these worlds are never divided by a sharp line: everyone has a small part of himself in both.~Vaclav Havel


Leadership Power World

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.~Vaclav Havel


Time Hope Political