Quotes Categories

Ryszard Kapuscinski Quotes

(1932), Polish Report and Foreign Correspondent

Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity and stumble from defeat to defeat.

Category: Adversity

When is a crisis reached? When questions arise that can't be answered.

Category: Crisis

Be careful: they have arms, and no alternatives.

Category: Force

Our salvation is in striving to achieve what we know we'll never achieve.

Category: Ideals And Idealism

Our job is like a baker's work -- his rolls are tasty as long as they're fresh; after two days they're stale; after a week, they're covered with mould and fit only to be thrown out.

Category: Journalism And Journalists

We follow the mystics. They know where they are going. They, too, go astray, but when they go astray they do so in a way that is mystical, dark, and mysterious.

Category: Mystics And Mysticism

When man meets an obstacle he can't destroy, he destroys himself.

Category: Obstacles

Do not be misled by the fact that you are at liberty and relatively free; that for the moment you are not under lock and key: you have simply been granted a reprieve.

Category: Oppression

In a society of little economic development, universal inactivity accompanies universal poverty. You survive not by struggling against nature, or by increasing production, or by relentless labor; instead you survive by expending as little energy as possible, by striving constantly to achieve a state of immobility.

Category: Recession

Although a system may cease to exist in the legal sense or as a structure of power, its values (or anti-values), its philosophy, its teachings remain in us. They rule our thinking, our conduct, our attitude to others. The situation is a demonic paradox: we have toppled the system but we still carry its genes.

Category: Revolutions And Revolutionaries

A population weakened and exhausted by battling against so many obstacles -- whose needs are never satisfied and desires never fulfilled -- is vulnerable to manipulation and regimentation. The struggle for survival is, above all, an exercise that is hugely time-consuming, absorbing and debilitating. If you create these ''anti-conditions,'' your rule is guaranteed for a hundred years.

Category: Survival

First you destroy those who create values. Then you destroy those who know what the values are, and who also know that those destroyed before were in fact the creators of values. But real barbarism begins when no one can any longer judge or know that what he does is barbaric.

Category: Value