The Wisdom of Will Rogers

My grandfather had just a few, real heroes. One was Will Rogers, whom he loved for his colorful sayings. Here are several, listed in alphabetical order:

  1. A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries.
  2. A farmer hid $500 in bills in a barrel of bran and a cow ate it up. He has just been able to get $18 of it back, up to now. This hording don’t pay.
  3. A remark generally hurts in proportion to its truth.
  4. After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him… The moral: When you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
  5. America is a land of opportunity and don’t ever forget it.
  6. An economist’s guess is liable to be just as good as anybody else’s.
  7. An onion can make people cry, but there has never been a vegetable invented to make them laugh.
  8. As bad as we sometimes think our government is run, it is the best run I ever saw.
  9. Broad-minded is just another way of saying a fellow is too lazy to form an opinion.
  10. Calvin Coolidge didn’t say much, and when he did he didn’t say much.
  11. Comedians haven’t improved. Nothing has improved but taxes.
  12. Diplomacy is the art of saying ‘Nice doggie’ until you can find a rock.
  13. Diplomats are just as essential to starting a war as soldiers are for finishing it.
  14. Don’t gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don’t go up, don’t buy it.
  15. Don’t squat with your spurs on.
  16. Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.
  17. Every time a woman leaves off something she looks better, but every time a man leaves off something he looks worse.
  18. Everybody is ignorant, only in different subjects.
  19. Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else.
  20. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
  21. Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.
  22. I am just an old country boy in a big town trying to get along. I have been eating pretty regular and the reason I have been is because I have stayed an old country boy.
  23. I don’t care how little your country is, you got a right to run it like you want to. When the big nations quit meddling then the world will have peace.
  24. I don’t think I’ve ever hurt any man’s feelings with my little gags. I know I never willfully did it. If I have to do that to make a living I’ll quit. If there is no malice in your heart, there will be none in your gags.
  25. If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?
  26. If there’s a rich Democrat, something is wrong.
  27. If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.
  28. If you live life right, death is a joke as far as fear is concerned.
  29. If you’re ridin’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there.
  30. I’m not a member of any organized political party, I’m a Democrat!
  31. Income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf.
  32. It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.
  33. It’s great to be great, but its greater to be human.
  34. Let advertisers spend the same amount of money improving their product that they do on advertising and they wouldn’t have to advertise it.
  35. Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier ‘n puttin’ it back in.
  36. Live your life so that whenever you lose, you’re ahead.
  37. My ancestors didn’t come over on the Mayflower, but they met the boat.
  38. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.
  39. Never miss a good chance to shut up.
  40. No man is great if he thinks he is.
  41. No nation ever had two better friends that we have. You know who they are? The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
  42. Nothing you can’t spell will ever work.
  43. Nowadays it is about as big a crime to be dumb as it is to be dishonest.
  44. Outside of traffic, there is nothing that has held this country back as much as committees.
  45. People are marvelous in their generosity if they just know the cause is there.
  46. People don’t change under governments. Governments change. People remain the same.
  47. People talk peace. But men give their life’s work to war. It won’t stop ’til there is as much brains and scientific study put to aid peace as there is to promote war.
  48. People’s minds are changed through observation and not through argument.
  49. Personally, I have always felt the best doctor in the world is the Veterinarian. He can’t ask his patients what’s the matter. He’s just got to know.
  50. Rumor travels faster, but it don’t stay put as long as truth.
  51. So live that you wouldn’t be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.
  52. Statistics have proven there are twenty-five bathtubs sold to every Bible.
  53. Take diplomacy out of a war and the thing would fall flat in a week.
  54. The fellow that can only see a week ahead is always the popular fellow, for he is looking with the crowd.  But the one that can see years ahead, he has a telescope but he can’t make anybody believe that he has it.
  55. The fire at the Treasury Department started on the roof and burned down until it got the place where the money ought to be and there it stopped. The Harding Administration had beat the fire to it. A fire in the Treasury Building is nothing to get excited about during a Republican Administration.
  56. The more you read and observe about this Politics thing, you got to admit that each party is worse than the other. The one that’s out always looks the best.
  57. The only time people dislike gossip is when you gossip about them.
  58. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket.
  59. There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
  60. There is no income tax in Russia. But there’s no income.
  61. There is nothing so stupid as an educated man, if you get off the thing that he was educated in.

  62. There’s two theories to arguin’ with a woman. Neither one works.

  63. They may call me a rube and a hick, but I’d a lot rather be the man who bought the Brooklyn Bridge than the man who sold it.

  64. Things ain’t what they used to be and probably never was.

  65. This country is not where it is today on account of any one man. It is here on account of the real common sense of the Big Normal Majority.

  66. We can’t all be heroes because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.

  67. We elect our Presidents, be they Republican or Democrat, then start daring ’em to make good.

  68. We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others.

  69. We’ll hold the distinction of being the only Nation in the history of the world that ever went to the poor house in an automobile.

  70. What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds.

  71. Whoever wrote the Ten Commandments made ’em short. They may not always be kept but they can be understood.

  72. You can be killed just as dead in an unjustified war as you can in one protecting your own home.

  73. You never know how much a man can’t remember until he is called as a witness.