Category: Quotes

Quotes by Pema Chodron

| October 30, 2014 | Reply

A friend recently suggested Pema Chödrön as an insightful writer on issues of mindfulness and self-awareness. I was not disappointed. Here are some of my favorites:

“The only reason we don’t open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don’t feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with. To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else’s eyes. ”

“If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.”

“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth”

“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.”

“Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found.”

“A further sign of health is that we don’t become undone by fear and trembling, but we take it as a message that it’s time to stop struggling and look directly at what’s threatening us. ”

“The difference between theism and nontheism is not whether one does or does not believe in God. . . Theism is a deep-seated conviction that there’s some hand to hold: if we just do the right things, someone will appreciate us and take care of us. . . Nontheism is relaxing with the ambiguity and uncertainty of the present moment without reaching for anything to protect ourselves.”

“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”

Share

Read More

About those bad guys . . .

| June 26, 2014 | Reply

You can look the other way once, and it’s no big deal, except it makes it easier for you to compromise the next time, and pretty soon that’s all you’re doing; compromising, because that’s the way you think things are done. You know those guys I busted? You think they were the bad guys? Because they weren’t, they weren’t bad guys, they were just like you and me. Except they compromised… Once.

Jack Bauer, from the opening episode of “24,” Season One.

Share

Read More

More quotes

| April 19, 2014 | Reply
More quotes

I’ve gathered many quotes for DI. This is another batch of my favorite quotes, gathered from a wide variety of sources:

Libertarian: “(noun) One who believes that oppression is best handled by the Private Sector.” (seen on Facebook)

“Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.”
Aldous Huxley

“Music makes one feel so romantic – at least it always gets on one’s nerves – which is the same thing nowadays.”
Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900)

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.”
H. P. Lovecraft (1890 – 1937), “The Call of Cthulhu”, first line

“We’re developing a new citizenry. One that will be very selective about cereals and automobiles, but won’t be able to think.”
― Rod Serling

“If Satan is God’s enemy . . . why does he punish those who disobey God?”
– From Facebook

“My pain may be the reason for somebody’s laugh. But my laugh must never be the reason for somebody’s pain.”
― Charles Chaplin

“The point of public relations slogans like “Support our troops” is that they don’t mean anything… That’s the whole point of good propaganda.You want to create a slogan that nobody’s going to be against, and everybody’s going to be for.Nobody knows what it means, because it doesn’t mean anything.Its crucial value is that it diverts your attention from a question that does mean something: Do you support our policy? That’s the one you’re not allowed to talk about.”
– Noam Chomsky

“All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptable. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted.”
– Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse Dune, Missionaria Protectiva, US science fiction novelist (1920 – 1986)

“Deregulation: Yes that’s a licence for Corporate Monopoly Rule aided and abetted by Sociopaths in key positions: Government, Law, Security both Police and Military, the Media and in Business.”
– Anon comment on Glenn Greenwald’s website

“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re misinformed.”
– Mark Twain.

“Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.”
– Eric Hoffer (1902 – 1983)

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.”
– Mark Twain.

“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.”
– Ernest Hemingway

The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.
– Patrick Henry

Share

Read More

Some more of my favorite quotes

| March 15, 2014 | 1 Reply

I periodically publish quotes I have collected. Here is the latest batch (and here is my entire collection). Not particular topic this time:

“A boat is safe in the harbor. But this is not the purpose of a boat.”
Paulo Coelho

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It

America’s “culture of death”: “a culture that embraces a soulless free-market idolatry in which the value of everything, including human beings, is determined by the bottom line. … It is a culture of death that prevails on Wall Street, K-Street, Hollywood, and our ever expanding Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex.”
Rich Broderick, journalist who writes for the online Twin Cities Daily Planet

“I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.”
Frederick Douglass

“What is absurd and monstrous about war is that men who have no personal quarrel should be trained to murder one another in cold blood.”
Aldous Huxley

“Whatever you may be sure of, be sure of this-that you are dreadfully like other people.”
James Russell Lowell (1819 – 1891)

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”
Voltaire.

Godwins’ Law – the idea that as an online discussion grows longer the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.
anon

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
Pablo Picasso

“Education isn’t something you can finish.”
Isaac Asimov

If a thing isn’t worth saying, you sing it.
Pierre Beaumarchais (1732 – 1799)

“Don’t think money does everything or you are going to end up doing everything for money.” Voltaire

“If the only thing keeping you from being a horrible person is your religion, you are already a horrible person.”
Someecards (on Facebook)

“The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.”
Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970)

Share

Read More

Thinking at different levels

| February 12, 2014 | Reply

“Problems cannot be solved by the level of awareness that created them.” Albert Einstein

This quote appeals me more than the platitude to think outside the box. It challenges us to reframe problems, which sometimes means there’s actually no problem at all (or the problem might be much worse than we thought). I often think of this quote in terms of our seemingly intractable national problems. Conservation can substantially alleviate the “need” to spew CO2 into the air, but conservation is not part of the Chevron-driven national dialogue. Good schools and decriminalization of drugs are a LOT cheaper than prisons, but politicians fail to connect the dots to those other levels. Ubiquitous applications of this quote, but we so often get trapped on our own cozy level, cozy because that’s what we are used to, and we are so used to it that it seems to be stone foundation rather than something to vigorously question.

Share

Read More

No rest for the weary

| February 6, 2014 | Reply

I found this quote by the Dalai Lama on FB:

Dalai lama

Share

Read More

More of my favorite quotes

| January 7, 2014 | 1 Reply

I’ve collected hundreds of quotes at this site. Here is a batch of my newest favorites:

“The few own the many because they possess the means of livelihood of all … The country is governed for the richest, for the corporations, the bankers, the land speculators, and for the exploiters of labor. The majority of mankind are working people. So long as their fair demands – the ownership and control of their livelihoods – are set at naught, we can have neither men’s rights nor women’s rights. The majority of mankind is ground down by industrial oppression in order that the small remnant may live in ease.”
― Helen Keller, Rebel Lives: Helen Keller

“The world is a hellish place, and bad writing is destroying the quality of our suffering.”
– Tom Waits

The atheist is free to concentrate on the fate of this world — whether that means visiting a friend in a hospital or advocating for tougher gun control laws — without trying to square things with an unseen overlord in the next. Atheists do not want to deny religious believers the comfort of their faith. We do want our fellow citizens to respect our deeply held conviction that the absence of an afterlife lends a greater, not a lesser, moral importance to our actions on earth.
Susan Jacoby – http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/opinion/sunday/the-blessings-of-atheism.html?pagewanted=all

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
– Arthur Schopenhauer

“We’ve bought into the idea that education is about training and “success”, defined monetarily, rather than learning to think critically and to challenge. We should not forget that the true purpose of education is to make minds, not careers. A culture that does not grasp the vital interplay between morality and power, which mistakes management techniques for wisdom, which fails to understand that the measure of a civilization is its compassion, not its speed or ability to consume, condemns itself to death.”
– Chris Hedges

“Pretty much all the honest truth telling there is in the world is done by children.”
– Oliver Wendell Holmes ‘

I swore never to be silent whenever wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant.
– Elie Weisel

When he was asked if he hated Germans, Elie Weisel replied, “the children of murderers aren’t murderers, just children.”

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. ”
– Alvin Toffler

Committee–a group of men who individually can do nothing but as a group decide that nothing can be done.
Fred Allen (1894 – 1956)

You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.
– Jeannette Rankin (1880 – 1973)

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.
– Elbert Hubbard

“When inventing a god, the most important thing is to claim it is invisible, inaudible and imperceptible in every way. Otherwise, people will become skeptical when it appears to no one, is silent and does nothing.” – Anonymous
― Alvin Toffler

It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.
– Ansel Adams

Omnipotent God chooses not to use his power to simply forgive humankind, but instead implements a solution which requires that he impregnate a teen girl in order to give birth to himself so he can have himself slaughtered to save human beings from the Hell that he created. He then decides to communicate his scheme through conflicting accounts penned decades later by anonymous authors and subjectively handed down by flawed translators who can’t even agree on the interpretation of “virgin.”
– anon

Share

Read More

35 Founding Father quotes conservative Christians won’t like

| July 7, 2013 | Reply

There are 35 of these inconvenient quotes at Addicting Information. Here are the first five:

1. “If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.”
~George Washington, letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789

2. “Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.”
~George Washington, letter to Edward Newenham, October 20, 1792

3. “We have abundant reason to rejoice that in this Land the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition… In this enlightened Age and in this Land of equal liberty it is our boast, that a man’s religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the Laws, nor deprive him of the right of attaining and holding the highest Offices that are known in the United States.”
~George Washington, letter to the members of the New Church in Baltimore, January 27, 1793

4. “The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.”
~John Adams, “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” 1787-1788

5. “The Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”
~1797 Treaty of Tripoli signed by John Adams

Share

Read More

African proverbs

| April 27, 2013 | Reply

I’ve often posted on quotes, but a friend recently sent me a link to a big collection of African proverbs. Lots of wisdom in these words, and here are some of my favorites:

To get lost is to learn the way. ~ African proverb

He who learns, teaches. ~ Ethiopian proverb

You always learn a lot more when you lose than when you win. ~ African proverb

You learn how to cut down trees by cutting them down. ~ Bateke proverb

Instruction in youth is like engraving in stone. ~Moroccan Proverb

Traveling is learning. ~Kenyan Proverb

Peace is costly but it is worth the expense. ~Kenyan proverb

War has no eyes ~ Swahili saying

There can be no peace without understanding. ~Senegalese proverb

If you can’t resolve your problems in peace, you can’t solve war. ~ Somalian proverb

He who thinks he is leading and has no one following him is only taking a walk. ~ Malawian proverb

A large chair does not make a king. ~ Sudanese proverb

Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable. ~ Bondei proverb

It takes a village to raise a child. ~ African proverb

Cross the river in a crowd and the crocodile won’t eat you. ~ African proverb

Hold a true friend with both hands. ~ African proverb

Show me your friend and I will show you your character. ~ African proverb

Bad friends will prevent you from having good friends. ~ Gabon proverb

Make some money but don’t let money make you. ~ Tanzania

The rich are always complaining. ~ Zulu

Money can’t talk, yet it can make lies look true. ~ South Africa

What you give you get, ten times over. ~ Yoruba

The surface of the water is beautiful, but it is no good to sleep on. ~Ghanaian Proverb

You are beautiful, but learn to work, for you cannot eat your beauty. ~Congolese Proverb

Three things cause sorrow to flee; water, green trees, and a beautiful face. ~Moroccan Proverb

A beautiful thing is never perfect. ~Egyptian Proverb

Youth is beauty, even in cattle. ~Egyptian Proverb

Share

Read More