If I have accomplished anything good, then it's mainly because I've been driven by the need to know whether I can accomplish things I'm not sure I have the capacity for.
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.
The most important thing is that man should be the measure of all structures, including economic structures, and not that man be made to measure for those structures. The most important thing is not to lose sight of personal relationships - i.e., the relationships between man and his co-workers, bet
To serve grand ideas with a major work is not bad, nor is it all there's to art.
There is only one thing I will not concede: that it might be meaningless to strive in a good cause.
Sometimes I wonder if suicides aren't in fact sad guardians of the meaning of life. Vaclav H
Just as many showed their solidarity with us when we were striving for freedom, so now we must show solidarity to those who are only striving for it in uneasy conditions,
Human rights, human freedoms, and human dignity have their deepest roots somewhere outside the perceptible world. These values are as powerful as they are because, under certain circumstances, people accept them without compulsion and are willing to die for them.
It is as if many have again ignored the fact that an attack on the freedom of individuals threatens the freedom of all.
Poles are able to reflect their history, they respect it. Who knows if anybody will remember when we commemorate our 25 years [since the 1989 Velvet Revolution].
It's not hard to stand behind one's successes. But to accept responsibility for one's failures... that is devishly hard!
True enough, the country is calm. Calm as a morgue or a grave, would you not say?
Man is in fact nailed down - like Christ on the Cross - to a grid of paradoxes . . . he balances between the torment of not knowing his mission and the joy of carrying it out, between nothingness and meaningfulness. And like Christ, he is in fact victorious by virtue of his defeats.
The attempt to devote oneself to literature alone is a most deceptive thing, and often, paradoxically, it is literature that suffers for it.
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.
I am not sure one is capable of reflecting absurdity without having a strong sense of meaning. Absurdity makes sense only against a meaningful background. It is the deeper meaning that is shedding light on the absurdity. There must be a vanish point, a metaphysical horizon if you will where absurdit
Though my heart may be left of centre, I have always known that the only economic system that works is a market economy... This is the only natural economy, the only kind that makes sense, the only one that can lead to prosperity, because it is the only one that reflects the nature of life itself.
None of us know all the potentialities that slumber in the spirit of the population, or all the ways in which that population can surprise us when there is the right interplay of events.
The Declaration of Independence states the 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.
The hope of the world lies in the rehabilitation of the living human being, not just the body but also the soul.
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.
But if I were to say who influenced me most, then I'd say Franz Kafka. And his works were always anchored in the Central European region.
Theater is there to search for questions. It doesn't give you instructions. Vaclav Have
You do not become a ''dissident'' just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career. You are thrown into it by your personal sense of responsibility, combined with a complex set of external circumstances. You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of confl
You may ask what kind of a republic I dream of. Let me reply: I dream of a republic independent, free, and democratic, of a republic economically prosperous and yet socially just; in short, of a humane republic which serves the individual and which therefore holds the hope that the individual will s
All human suffering concerns each human being
As soon as man began considering himself the source of the highest meaning in the world and the measure of everything, the world began to lose its human dimension, and man began to lose control of it.
Ultimately, power only really listens to power, and if government is to be improved, we must be able to threaten its existence, not merely its reputation.
Human beings are compelled to live within a lie, but they can be compelled to do so only because they are in fact capable of living in this way. Therefore not only does the system alienate humanity, but at the same time alienated humanity supports this system as its own involuntary master plan, as a
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.