Principles Quotes

Most popular principles quotes

We must be prepared to displease the dearest ones for the sake of principle.
Prosperity is the best protector of principle.


Principles have no real force except when one is well fed.
Circumstances should never alter principles!
I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true.
Important principles may, and must, be inflexible.
The first thing a principle does is to kill somebody.
Only the ideas that we actually live are of any value.
When something important is going on, silence is a lie.
Be bold in what you stand for and careful what you fall for.

how to live life

Expedients are for the hour, but principles are for the ages.


It is the weak man who urges compromise—never the strong man.


A bird does not change its feathers because the weather is bad.


Whenever two people argue over principles, they are both right.


Do we embody the radiant correctness of what we say we are pursuing.
You've got to stand for somethin' or you're gonna fall for anything.
An army of principles will penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.


A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.


It is always easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.
Failure comes only when we forget our ideals and objectives and principles.
He that always gives way to others will end in having no principles of his own.
Never "for the sake of peace and quiet" deny your own experience or convictions.
No good society can be unprincipled; and no viable society can be principle-ridden.
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
— Matthew 16:26


In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.


There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do.


Adversity is the trial of principle. Without it, a man hardly knows whether he is honest or not.


The most prominent place in hell is reserved for those who are neutral on the great issues of life.
Principles do not mainly influence even the principled; we talk on principle, but we act on interest.


Never give in—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—except to convictions of honor and good sense.
Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides.

indecision moderation

Principles do not need to make sense locally. The broader and more universal the reach, the stronger the principle.
It is important that people know what you stand for. It's equally important that they know what you won't stand for.
I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world.
The main discomfort in being a middle-of-the-roader is that you get sideswiped by partisans going in both directions.

indecision moderation

You can't learn too soon that the most useful thing about a principle is that it can always be sacrificed to expediency.
It's important that people should know what you stand for. It's equally important that they know what you won't stand for.


In the end it will not matter to us whether we fought with flails or reeds. It will matter to us greatly on what side we fought.
I have nothing to lose by standing up and following my beliefs. So I'll go to jail, so what? We have been in jail for four hundred years.

African-Americans civil rights movement racism slavery

Don't believe that winning is really everything. It's more important to stand for something. If you don't stand for something, what do you win?
A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice.

moderation temper

A man's judgment is best when he can forget himself and any reputation he may have acquired and can concentrate wholly on making the right decisions.

judgment reputation

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.


I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.


I agreed a long time ago, I would not live at any cost. If I am moved or forced away from what I think is the right thing, I will not do it. Yes, one must be agile and willing, but if one is being asked to contradict, one must remember there may be a difference in manner, but there must not be a difference in meaning.