Quotable Quotes on Humility... from French and American History

To celebrate the national holidays of the United States of America (July 4) and France (July 14), we are honoring some of their great men (and the awesome women who stood beside them).

Use these quotes to help generate stimulating discussions over family meals and throughout vacation time. 

This year’s theme is humility.  Meekness from the mouths of accomplished masters to celebrate pre-eminent nations? Why not?

To Be or Not To Be Humble

To be modest, the theme came to me after my proud and misguided blueberry picking adventure.  Yet humility is a hot topic.  We regularly face (or perpetuate) situations where children (or adults) talk back without respect, act superior, and generally belabor other’s faults without noticing their own. 

Hold off on the “Children, be humble” lecture.  Instead, review these quotes together and get the message across more effectively and with more fun.

full set of Quotes or enjoy the excerpts below.

Quotes on Humility by Great Men of France and the U.S.A.

“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.”

Isaac Newton

Food for thought:

Make everyone laugh. Tell of a situation when you did the opposite and tried to re-invent the wheel (did things ALL on your own).




Sir Isaac Newton—1643-1727

Newton lived before the American and French revolutions, but he is widely regarded as one of the most influential people in human history. Newton’s discoveries, such as the Laws of Motion and the Law of Universal Gravitation, dominated the scientific view of the physical universe for centuries.

“We are rarely proud when we are alone.”


Food for Thought:

Is this true or false in your life? Give an example.




François-Marie Arouet, know as Voltaire –1694-1778

This French, Enlightement polemicist wrote works to criticize intolerance, religious dogma and the French institutions of his day. Voltaire’s ideas influenced important thinkers of both the American and French Revolutions.

“All the world is queer save thee and me, and even thou art a little queer.”

Robert Owen

Food for Thought:

Are you “normal”? What does that mean?




Robert Owen—1771-1858

A social reformer, Owen fought for reduced work hours for women and children, supported national education, and attempted to reconcile the interests of capital and labor. Owen and a partner set up a model industrial community, yet split up due to friction. Thus this statement.


Great men of France and USAGuess Who Answers

Photo on left

- Top left to right:  Montesquieu, Voltaire, Montaigne

- Bottom left to right: Owens, Newton, Shakespeare (check out the earring!)

Photo on right:  Franklin, Marshall

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Did you find this article helpful/interesting?
2 vote(s)

1. On Thursday, July 7 2011, 22:25 by Denise

Found another great and relevant quote by Benjamin Franklin:
" He that won't be counseled can't be helped."

From an inventor!!!

2. On Thursday, July 7 2011, 22:42 by Denise

And yet another...can you tell I'm clearing off my desk?!

"If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals."
J.K. Rowling

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