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On Necessity...


If we are to survive into future, it is necessary to change ourselves and the world around us. Necessity drives us on. When we realise the true need, it gives us a target and spurs us into action.

See also

action, change, constraints, goals*, invention*, passion, progress, seeing, tension*, vision


‘Necessity is stronger far than art.’


‘Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.’

St. Francis of Assisi

‘Necessity is the theme and the inventress, the eternal curb and the law of nature.’

Leonardo Da Vinci

‘It is not necessary for the public to know whether I am joking or whether I am serious, just as it is not necessary for me to know it myself.’

Salvador Dali

‘Desperation is sometimes as powerful an inspirer as genius.’

Benjamin Disraeli

‘Nothing has more strength than dire necessity.’


‘If you think you can win, you can win. Faith is necessary to victory.’

William Hazlitt

‘It may be freedom rather than necessity that is the mother of invention.’

Eva Hoffman

‘Adversity reveals genius; prosperity conceals it.’


‘The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with objects it loves.’

Carl Gustav Jung

‘I look in my closet, and if I need it, I design it.’

Donna Karan

‘Contentment: The smother of invention.’

Ethel Mumford

‘Necessity may be mother of invention, but fun is the father.’

Alex Osborn

‘...and yet the true creator is necessity, who is the mother of invention.’


‘It is said that necessity is the mother of invention, but there had been a curious lack of interest in the father. Could it be that the father is curiosity?’

Eugene Raudseep

‘The conception of the necessary unit of all that is resolves itself into the poverty of the imagination, and a freer logic emancipates us from the straitwaistcoated benevolent institution, which idealism palms off as the totality of being.’

Bertrand Russell

‘Necessity may be the mother of invention, it’s true, but its father is creativity and knowledge is the midwife.’

Jonathan Schattke

‘It is necessary to any originality to have the courage to be an amateur.’

Wallace Stevens

Change is not merely necessary to life—it is life.’

Alvin Toffler

‘Necessity is the mother of taking chances.’

Mark Twain

‘"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much closer to the truth. The basis of growth of modern invention is science, and science is almost wholly the outgrowth of pleasurable intellectual curiosity.’

Alfred North Whitehead



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