The genius and marvel of George Bernard Shaw

NPG x81840; George Bernard Shaw by Elliott & FryA life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.

We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.

Use your health, even to the point of wearing it out. That is what it is for. Spend all you have before you die; do not outlive yourself.

Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.

The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity.

George Bernard Shaw

Today I decided to pay tribute to one of the wisest and wittiest people ever to have graced a fridge magnet. I’ve chosen 9 of my favourite quotations (because I’m in that kind of a mood). If you have any of Shaw’s words that you’d like to share, or any thoughts, please leave a comment. I love hearing from you.




Published by Jill London

Hi, I’m Jill, a writer and teacher living in the UK, usually behind a desk but sometimes on a sofa with a book or a film. I began writing at around age three, legibly by five, although I didn’t write any stories until I was older. Aged eleven, I began writing children’s fiction, mostly middle-grade fantasy and I’m still doing it to this day. I have had stories published online and in My Weekly magazine. The best bit about writing is when ideas pop into your head (from the writing fairy presumably?) and everything starts clipping together like a jigsaw puzzle. The worst bit? When you start to get the feeling there's a piece missing from the box...

14 thoughts on “The genius and marvel of George Bernard Shaw

  1. “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.” Truer words were never spoken.


  2. Love this one: “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” Rewards come to those who are willing to take risks.


    1. Yes, it’s also a very nice benediction for failure, if you know what I mean 😉 You can say with your head up high “I tried and failed but at least I tried, damn it!”


      1. Yes it is. My favourite (hey, that’s the UK spelling of that word. Wonder if I automatically type that way on your blog in your honoUr? Hee!). Anyway, my favoUrite quote about failure is by Teddy Roosevelt. In fact, I love it so much I think I will post it to my blog now 🙂 Hope you are having a splendid day Jill!


      2. Now I feel right at home with all those Us in place 😉 If you do that post maybe you’ll add a link to my Shaw post?
        Have a splendid day yourself, good lady 🙂


  3. The greatest of course is “youth is wasted on the young” but then he said “at the age of forty, everybody has the face they deserve”

    Once, in a lttle street in London, Lamb’s Conuit Street (so called because it used to be the route by which sheep from the livestock trains at Kings X station were walked to Smithfield meat market) I wandered into a small bookshop. I was aware of someone standing there in the corner. Glancing up, it was JB Shaw! Standing there large as life. It was his waxwork, obviously sold on by Madame Tausades.

    Honestly, you couldn’t make this stuff up.


    1. Ha ha! It must have been a little off-putting having Shaw watching which books you pick up 😉 I wonder if they still have the waxwork there?


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