Happy Birthday to Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe. He was born in Frankfurt on August 28, 1749. We love ancient wisdom at Glad.is, and Goethe, who is known as the German Shakespeare, is no exception. He is regarded as one of the greatest intellectuals of his time and some consider him to be one of the greatest literary figures of the modern era.
Some Cliff Notes on Goethe:
He was a true polymath – a philosopher, poet, playwright, novelist, scientist and statesman. In addition to writing a number of brilliant plays, poems, novels and autobiographical works, he also painted and drew. Goethe had a lifelong interest in natural sciences and pursued studies in geology, biology and anatomy. His sublime view of nature and art was often reflected in his works while being mixed with mystical elements. Faust, Goethe’s best known drama in the U.S., tells the story of a man who offers his soul to the devil in exchange for worldly pleasures and earthly fulfillment. Goethe succeeded, as few others did, in making his life an example of the full range of human potential. He died in Weimar in 1832 and he is and was internationally recognized as a literary giant.
Two more pieces of Goethe trivia: First, he also had the largest private collection of minerals in all of Europe. In order to gain a comprehensive view of geology, he had collected 17,800 rock samples by the time of his death, and there is a mineral (“Goethite”) named after him. Second, Goethe created one of the earliest formal explorations of color theory. In 1810, he published Theory of Colours, which explored the psychological impact of different colors on mood and emotion.
You say it’s your birthday? Well, it’s my birthday too and I’m honored to share it with this particular philosopher. Here my top 10 favorite Goethe quotes, my birthday gift to you – and me.
In gratitude for this day,
1) “Nothing is worth more than this day.”
2) “Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.”
3) “Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.”
4) “The greatest evil that can befall man is that he should come to think ill of himself.”
5) “One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.”
6) “Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.”
7) “Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound.”
8) “I am fully convinced that the soul is indestructible, and its activity will continue through eternity.”
9) “It is ever true that he who does nothing for others, does nothing for himself.”
10) “Whatever you can do or dream, begin it.”
What’s your favorite? Let us know.