Jonathan Swift (1667-1745): Top Ten Conflict Tips

I sometimes feel the same Swiftian rage that Jonathan Swift felt about the incompetence and corruption of those in power, so I thought it time we had a Top Ten Conflict Tips based on the thoughts of Jonathan Swift.

  1. A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying… that he is wiser today than yesterday.
  2. A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart.
  3. For in reason, all government without the consent of the governed is the very definition of slavery.
  4. I never saw, heard, nor read, that the clergy were beloved in any nation where Christianity was the religion of the country. Nothing can render them popular, but some degree of persecution.
  5. If Heaven had looked upon riches to be a valuable thing, it would not have given them to such a scoundrel.
  6. No man was ever so completely skilled in the conduct of life, as not to receive new information from age and experience.
  7. Nothing is so hard for those who abound in riches as to conceive how others can be in want
  8. Power is no blessing in itself, except when it is used to protect the innocent.
  9. Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.
  10. We have enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.

See also:

His epitaph translated from Latin by William Butler Yeats:

Swift has sailed into his rest;

Savage indignation there

Cannot lacerate his breast.

Imitate him if you dare,

World-besotted traveller; he

Served human liberty.

This is Jonathan:

Footnote: This posting is in honor of my English teacher friend Stacey, and editor extraordinaire. Thanks Stacey!


About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
This entry was posted in Academic Conflict, Conflict Humor, Conflict Processes, Philosophy of Conflict, Religious Conflict, Top Ten Conflict Tips from Great Thinkers, Ways to handle conflict and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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