Humans are not proud of their ancestors, and rarely invite them round to dinner.
And all knowledge, when separated from justice and virtue, is seen to be cunning and not wisdom; wherefore make this your first and last and constant and all-absorbing aim, to exceed, if possible, not only us but all your ancestors in virtue; and know that to excel you in virtue only brings us shame, but that to be excelled by you is a source of happiness to us.
You do not inherit the earth from your ancestors: you borrow it from your children.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
And we shall most likely be defeated, and you will most likely be victors in the contest, if you learn so to order your lives as not to abuse or waste the reputation of your ancestors, knowing that to a man who has any self-respect, nothing is more dishonourable than to be honoured, not for his own sake, but on account of the reputation of his ancestors.
Yes, I am a Jew, and when the ancestors of the right honorable gentleman were brutal savages in an unknown island, mine were priests in the temple of Solomon.
Reply to a taunt by Daniel O'Connell
George Bernard Shaw
Otto von Bismarck
Man and Socialism in Cuba
The Sirens of Titan
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