Monday, July 15, 2024

Voltaire’s Timeless Insights: Five Quotes that Still Resonate Today

Priyal Dholakia – Enigmatic Horizon Staff (Assistant Editor)

The Wit and Wisdom of Voltaire: A Journey Through His Top Quotes

“Common sense is not so common.” We are sure you have heard this quote many times. But have you ever thought about who has uttered this age-old adage? This famous saying comes from the renowned French writer and philosopher, Voltaire.

Voltaire is one of the most iconic and celebrated figures in French history. He was born as François-Marie Arouet and he later adopted the pen name Voltaire. His writings used to get published and they received acclaim in the eighteenth century. They continue to inspire a large number of readers even today.

Voltaire’s Trial with Text and Trouble

Voltaire’s impeccable use of wit and satire in his writing earned him international fame and glory. His writings resonated with a wide range of people, especially in European societies. His works are also credited with igniting the Enlightenment movement in Europe.

But his ideas were as provocative as they were popular. A web of controversies constrained Voltaire’s popularity. His writings questioned religion, liberty, and ethics. It landed him in a lot of trouble back in the day.

Furthermore, Voltaire is known for having used his literary skills to speak against tyranny and cruelty in his society. In his pursuit of this goal, he challenged the authority of the church too. His books took a dig at the idea of religious power and civil liberty. They even included snide remarks about many French political institutions of those times. It made Voltaire the subject of a lot of mass trials and tribulations.

Top Five Quotes by Voltaire

Let us look at some of the most powerful pearls of wisdom from Voltaire’s literary treasure. The inherent relevance of Voltaire’s quotes is what distinguishes them. Even today, the simplicity of his quotes remains profound and relevant. Here are the top 5 Voltaire quotes that continue to resonate today.

Common Sense is not So Common

Of course, this quote by far tops the list of all Voltaire quotes. It captures such a deep essence in six short and simple words. It demonstrates the irony of the phrase “common sense.” Though common sense is something everyone should have, it is not very common in practice. The quote implies that many people do not use common sense as much as they should. As a result, they make poor decisions and judgments at different stages of life. This quote is much more relevant today because people tend to believe what they read or hear on social media or mainstream media, without using their own reasoning. The quote reminds us to always use our common sense and not overlook it or take it for granted.

Love Truth, But Pardon Error

This quote is indicative of our love for truth. It says we should always seek and value truth in our words, deeds, and actions. But we should also be tolerant and forgiving towards those with differing views. While being truthful in our pursuits, we should respect and value truth in others. Everyone is fallible and prone to making mistakes. Rather than holding any grudges, we should be kind and forgiving towards them. We should focus on accepting others instead of punishing or condemning them. 

The Best is the enemy of the good

This quote shows that in our quest for the best, we may miss out on the good things in our lives. Our desire for perfection can prevent us from achieving something satisfactory. In other words, striving for perfection can sometimes be counterproductive. At times, we become too consumed with aiming for perfection. And hence, we end up procrastinating rather than taking action and making progress. This quote goes on to show that perfection often hampers good progress. So, do not wait for that one massive leap. It is advisable to take small, incremental steps in the right direction.

Dare to think for yourself

In this quote, Voltaire enshrines the importance of independent thinking. It implies that we should not accept or conform to the opinions of others. Rather, we should question and assess information and ideas on our own. Also, we should not be afraid to challenge prevailing beliefs or assumptions. We must question the status quo and break free from existing thought barriers. This quote reminds us that thinking for ourselves is indispensable to personal growth.

We must cultivate our garden

This quote tells us to pay attention to our immediate surroundings if we want to grow as people. We often seek grandiose or abstract solutions to complex problems. But instead of that, we should take personal responsibility to address those issues. It conveys the idea that we should not rely on the actions of others or hope for large-scale social change. We must attend to our affairs and work to create a better world through our actions. We must first focus on what is within our control and work to improve it. Not hoping for external forces to bring about change. 

With these quotes, we hope we have given you some food for thought. The true spirit of Voltaire’s quotes lies in the way they convey a deep message in a simple and succinct manner. Indeed, his quotes will continue to echo in the chambers of time for a long time to come.

Related articles

error: Content is protected !!