Rich people can be generous, even the ones with bloodcurdling political views can be generous, but most believe in generosity on their own terms, and underneath (not so deep, either), they’re always afraid someone is going to steal their presents and eat their birthday cake.
You’re going to come across people in your life who say all the right words at all the right times. But in the end, it’s always their actions you should judge them by. It’s actions, not words, that matter.
It is impossible to escape the impression that people commonly use false standards of measurement – that they seek power, success and wealth for themselves and admire them in others, and that they underestimate what is of true value in life.[Man kann sich des Eindrucks nicht erwehren, daß die Menschen gemeinhin mit falschen Maßstäben messen, Macht, Erfolg und Reichtum für sich anstreben und bei anderen bewundern, die wahren Werte des Lebens aber unterschätzen.]
There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.[repeated often in the rest of the book]
The masses never revolt of their own accord, and they never revolt merely because they are oppressed. Indeed, so long as they are not permitted to have standards of comparison, they never even become aware that they are oppressed.
Everyone knows that all these big proclamations about honor are really just excuses invented to let people kill each other with a clear conscience.