To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrfice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places-and there are so many-where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.
-- Howard Zinn
Advice from Pilgrim Marpeck...
- Don't let my possessions possess me
- See the truth in my opponent's arguments
- Embrace tension - it will help me retain the balance
- Dale Schrag, in character as Pilgrim Marpeck (contributed by Ethel Harder)
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction....The chain reaction of evil--hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars--must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr., The Strength To Love, 1963
What the mind doesn't understand, it worships or fears.
-- Alice Walker
Before speaking, T-H-I-N-K
Is it True?
Is it Helpful?
Is it Inspiring?
Is it Necessary?
Is it Kind?
-- Barbara Moses, Philadelphia Mennonite High School principal, in an address at Mennonite Health Assembly, March 2009
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
-- George Bernard Shaw
Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.
-- Carl Sagan, American astronomer
You measure democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists.
-- Abbie Hoffman
Totalitarianism is patriotism institutionalized.
-- Steve Allen, comedian
It is no measure of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society.
When I feed the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why so many people are poor they call me a communist.
-- Dom Helder Camara, late archbishop of the Brazilian diocese of Olinda and Recife
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
You can't hold a man down without staying down with him.
-- Booker T. Washington
Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love ...
-- Dr. Martin Luter King, Jr.
Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
-- Mark Twain
Nationalism is a set of beliefs taught to each generation in which the Motherland or the Fatherland is an object of veneration and becomes a burning cause for which one becomes willing to kill the children of other Motherlands and Fatherlands.
-- Howard Zinn, historian
Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.
-- George Bernard Shaw
Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.
-- Pope John Paul II
We thought, because we had power, we had wisdom.
-- Stephen Vincent Benet
The rule of law does not do away with the unequal distribution of wealth and power, but reinforces that inequality with the authority of law. It allocates wealth and poverty in such calculated and indirect ways as to leave the victim bewildered.
-- Howard Zinn
At the bottom of a good deal of the bravery that appears in the world there lurks a miserable cowardice. Men will face powder and steel because they cannot face public opinion.
-- Edwin Hubbel Chapin, minister and orator (1814-1880)
This is the simple discovery which we must confront. We were given a place in the creation, with a beauty beyond telling, and we have failed to care for it. And as our collective contempt for the non-human world has intensified, so has our contempt for each other. We have failed to care for each other.
-- Robert Jensen
If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without insight.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking about US involvement in the Vietnam War
Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change. Each time a person stands up for an idea, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, (s)he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
--Robert F. Kennedy
By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise.
-- Adolf Hitler
A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.
The entire world economy rests on the consumer; if he ever stops spending money he doesn't have on things he doesn't need -- we're done for.
-- Bill Bonner - Editor of The Daily Reckoning - April 3, 2003
Written laws are like spider's webs; they will catch, it is true, the weak and the poor, but would be torn in pieces by the rich and powerful.
An empire founded by war has to maintain itself by war.
-- Charles de Montesquieu, French politician and philosopher (1689-1755)
Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.
-- Potter Stewart, American judge and associate justice of the US Supreme Court (1915-1985)
If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.
-- John Stuart Mill
The accomplice to the crime of corruption is frequently our own indifference
-- Bess Myerson