It is not enough to stare up the steps, we must step up the stairs.

— Vaclav Havel

The most breathtaking Vaclav Havel quotes that will activate your inner potential

Human rights are universal and indivisible.

Human freedom is also indivisible: if it is denied to anyone in the world, it is therefore denied, indirectly, to all people. This is why we cannot remain silent in the face of evil or violence; silence merely encourages them.


Genuine politics -- even politics worthy of the name -- the only politics I am willing to devote myself to -- is simply a matter of serving those around us: serving the community and serving those who will come after us. Its deepest roots are moral because it is a responsibility expressed through action, to and for the whole.


Modern man must descend the spiral of his own absurdity to the lowest point;

only then can he look beyond it. It is obviously impossible to get around it, jump over it, or simply avoid it.


Nothing is more powerful than individuals acting out of their own conscience.


I feel that the dormant goodwill in people needs to be stirred.

People need to hear that it makes sense to behave decently or to help others, to place common interests above their own, to respect the elementary rules of human coexistence.


Isn't it the moment of most profound doubt that gives birth to new certainties? Perhaps hopelessness is the very soil that nourishes human hope; perhaps one could never find sense in life without first experiencing its absurdity.


Without commonly shared and widely entrenched moral values and obligations, neither the law, nor democratic government, nor even the market economy will function properly.


This is a confusing and uncertain period, when a thousand wise words can go completely unnoticed, and one thoughtless word can provoke an utterly nonsensical furor.


Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism.

It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.


Truth and love will overcome lies and hatred.


We live in the postmodern world, where everything is possible and almost nothing is certain.


The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness and human responsibility.


About Vaclav Havel

Quotes 157 sayings
Nationality Czechoslovakian
Profession Leader
Birthday 5 October 1936

Just as the constant increase of entropy is the basic law of the universe, so it is the basic law of life to be ever more highly structured and to struggle against entropy.


The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less.


The only thing I can recommend at this stage is a sense of humor, an ability to see things in their ridiculous and absurd dimensions, to laugh at others and at ourselves, a sense of irony regarding everything that calls out for parody in this world. In other words, I can only recommend perspective and distance.


Human rights, human freedoms... and human dignity have their deepest roots somewhere outside the perceptible world... while the state is a human creation, human beings are the creation of God.


Hope is the deep orientation of the human soul that can be held at the darkest times.


The deeper the experience of an absence of meaning -- in other words, of absurdity --the more energetically meaning is sought.


Self-confidence is not pride. Just the contrary: only a person or a nation that is self-confident, in the best sense of the word, is capable of listening to others, accepting them as equals, forgiving its enemies and regretting its own guilt.


Ownership is not a vice, not something to be ashamed of, but rather a commitment, and an instrument by which the general good can be served.


I am not an optimist, because I am not sure that everything ends well.

Nor am I a pessimist, because I am not sure that everything ends badly. I just carry hope in my heart.


All human suffering concerns each human being.


Anyone who takes himself too seriously always runs the risk of looking ridiculous; anyone who can consistently laugh at himself does not.


As in everything else, I must start with myself.

That is: in all circumstances try to be decent, just, tolerant, and understanding, and at the same time try to resist corruption and deception. In other words, I must do my utmost to act in harmony with my conscience and my better self.


The Declaration of Independence states that the Creator gave man the right to liberty. It seems man can realize that liberty only if he does not forget the One who endowed him with it.


Sometimes I wonder if suicides aren't in fact sad guardians of the meaning of life.


Without free, self-respecting, and autonomous citizens there can be no free and independent nations. Without internal peace, that is, peace among citizens and between the citizens and the state, there can be no guarantee of external peace.


I do think Russian foreign policy is very savvy.

There's a need for great caution because the Russians are able to discreetly blackmail countries.


Without a global revolution in the sphere of human consciousness a more humane society will not emerge.


Frank Zappa was one of the gods of the Czech underground, I thought of him as a friend. Whenever I feel like escaping from the world of the Presidency, I think of him.


The exercise of power is determined by thousands of interactions between the world of the powerful and that of the powerless, all the more so because these worlds are never divided by a sharp line: everyone has a small part of himself in both.


There can be no doubt that distrust of words is less harmful than unwarranted trust in them.


Technological measures are important, but equally important is.

.. a consciousness of the commonality of all living beings and an emphasis on shared responsibility.


Even a purely moral act that has no hope of any immediate and visible political effect can gradually and indirectly, over time, gain in political significance.


I have found that good taste, oddly enough, plays an important role in politics.

Why is it like that? The most probable reason is that good taste is a visible manifestation of human sensibility toward the world, environment, people.


The world is not divided into two types of being, one superior and the other merely surrounding it. Being, nature, the universe - they are all one infinitely complex and mysterious metaorganism of which we are but a part, though a unique one.


Modern science kills God and takes his place on the vacant throne.

Science is the sole legitimate arbiter of all relavent truth.


The only lost cause is one we give up on before we enter the struggle.


If the world is to change for the better it must start with a change in human consciousness, in the very humanness of modern man.


There's always something suspect about an intellectual on the winning side.


I am convinced that we will never build a democratic state based on rule of law if we do not at the same time build a state that is-regardless of how unscientific this may sound to the ears of a political scientist-humane, moral, intellectual and spiritual, and cultural.


The hope of the world lies in the rehabilitation of the living human being, not just the body but also the soul.


It seems to me that one of the most basic human experiences, one that is genuinely universal and unites-or, more precisely, could unite-all of humanity, is the experience of transcendence in the broadest sense of the word.


Drama assumes an order. If only so that it might have -- by disrupting that order -- a way of surprising.


True enough, the country is calm. Calm as a morgue or a grave, would you not say?


Every consession gives rise to further concessions, we cannot back down, because behind us there is only an abyss, we must keep our promises and demand that they be kept.


Planetary democracy does not yet exist but our global civilization is already preparing a place for it. It is the very Earth we inhabit linked with Heaven above us. Only in this setting can the mutuality and the commonality of the human race be newly created with reverence and gratitude for that which transcends each of us and all of us together.


Let us admit that most of us writers feel an essential aversion to politics.

By taking such a position, however, we accept the perverted principle of specialization, according to which some are paid to write about the horrors of the world and human responsibility and others to deal with those horrors and bear the human responsibility for them.


It was never the people who complained of the universality of human rights, nor did the people consider human rights as a Western or Northern imposition. It was often their leaders who did so.