85 Total Quotes

Vaclav Havel Quotes

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
#Quotes

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
#Certainty

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

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
#Birth

A state that denies its citizens their basic rights becomes a danger to its neighbors as well: internal arbitrary rule will be reflected in arbitrary external relations. The suppression of public opinion, the abolition of public competition for power and its public exercise opens the way for the state power to arm itself in any way it sees fit. A state that does not hesitate to lie to its own people will not hesitate to lie to other states.
Vaclav Havel
#Civil Rights #Danger

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

The role of the writer is not simply to arrange Being according to his own lights; he must also serve as a medium to Being and remain open to its often unfathomable dictates. This is the only way the work can transcend its creator and radiate its meaning further than the author himself can see or perceive.
Vaclav Havel
#Writers And Writing

I think theatre should always be somewhat suspect.
Vaclav Havel
#Quotes

If you want to see your plays performed the way you wrote them, become President.
Vaclav Havel
#President

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
#Hope

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

Genuine politics -- even politics worthy of the name -- the only politics I am willing to devote myself to -- is simply a matter of serving those around us: serving the community and serving those who will come after us. Its deepest roots are moral because it is a responsibility expressed through action, to and for the whole.
Vaclav Havel
#Politics

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
#Quotes #Heart

The deeper the experience of an absence of meaning -- in other words, of absurdity --the more energetically meaning is sought.
Vaclav Havel
#Absence

Lying can never save us from another lie.
Vaclav Havel
#Quotes

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
#Quotes #Government

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
#Quotes #Man

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
#Quotes #Law

People who live in the post-totalitarian system know only too well that the question of whether one or several political parties are in power, and how these parties define and label themselves, is of far less importance than the question of whether or not it is possible to live like a human being.
Vaclav Havel
#People #Totalitarianism

If every day a man takes orders in silence from an incompetent superior, if every day he solemnly performs ritual acts which he privately finds ridiculous, if he unhesitatingly gives answers to questionnaires which are contrary to his real opinions and is prepared to deny his own self in public, if he sees no difficulty in feigning sympathy or even affection where, in fact, he feels only indifference or aversion, it still does not mean that he has entirely lost the use of one of the basic human senses, namely, the sense of humiliation.
Vaclav Havel
#Submission

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
#Quotes #Exercise