“The following are a collection of sayings and quotes that I have gathered over the years. Some are attributed; others I have just picked up and haven’t figured out who said or when it was said.
This was updated on 23 February 2016 to add the quote from Robert Kennedy.
This was updated on 23 April 2018 to correct the Robert E. Lee quote.
SAYINGS OF INTEREST
“The Vaccination Theory of Education – English is not History and History is not Science and Science is not Art and Art is not Music, and Art and Music are minor subjects and English, History, and Science major subjects, and a subject is something you “take” and, when you have taken it, you have “had” it, and if you have “had” it, you are immune and need not take it again.
““Time is nature’s way of keeping everything from happening at once.”
““A child with a hammer thinks everything looks like a nail.”
““We find our individual freedom by choosing not a destination but a direction.” (Marilyn Ferguson)
““You see things; and say ‘why?’ But I dream of things that never were and say ‘why not?’” (George Bernard Shaw)
““If you found a path with no obstacle, it probably does not lead anywhere.”
““It is necessary to say that poetic spirits are of two kinds; first, those who invent fables, and second, those who are disposed toward believing them.” (Galileo [as translated by Sheldon Glashow])
““If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” (David Thoreau)
““In every age there comes a time when leadership suddenly comes forth to meet the needs of the hour. And so there is no man who does not find his time, and there is no hour that does not have its leader.” (The Talmud)
“Jawaharlal Nehru, who with Mahatma Gandhi successfully freed India from British colonial rule, once said, “A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the sound of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.”
““If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” (Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Col. Charles Yancey, January 6, 1816)
““If I am not for myself, who is for me?
But if I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, when? (Rabbi Hillel, Sayings of the Fathers, 1: 14)
““It’s a revolution damn it! We’re going to have to offend somebody!” – John Adams, while discussing the massive changes being hacked into the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
““The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common: instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views, which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.” Dr. Who
“There is a fine line between being on the leading edge and being in the lunatic fringe.
“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. (Albert Einstein)
““Sanity is the playground of the unimaginative mind”.
“Programming: The art of debugging a blank sheet of paper (Nick Donaldson, University of Manitoba)
““Foolish is the man who competes for competition’s sake . . . Wise is the man who knows what battles are worth fighting.” – Ancient Chinese proverb.
““It is fortunate that war is so ugly for we could become very fond of it” — attributed to Robert E. Lee following the Battle of Fredericksburg.
““War is not healthy for children and other living things.” — Lorraine Schneider, 1969 — www.warisnothealthy.org
“Nobody is stupid enough to prefer war to peace. Because in times of peace children bury their parents, whereas, on the contrary, in times of war parents bury their children — Herodotus.
““Men are generally idle, and ready to satisfy themselves, and intimidate the industry of others, by calling that impossible which is only difficult.” — Samuel Johnson
“Some people drink from the fountain of knowledge. Others just gargle.” — Robert Anthony, American business professor (my source – Sigma Xi Smartbrief for 21 January 2014)
““There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of a comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. It hardly seems necessary to point out in California – of all States — that change, although it involves risks, is the law of life.
Nevertheless, there are those, frustrated by a difficult future, who grab out for the security of the non-existent past. Frustrated by change they condemn the wisdom, the motives, and even the patriotism of those who seek to contend with the realities of the future. (Robert Kennedy, “The Opening To The Future”)
““There’s this desert prison…. with an old prisoner, resigned to his life, and a young one just arrived. The young one talks constantly of escape, and after a few months, he makes a break. He’s gone a week and then he’s brought back by the guards. He’s half dead, crazy with hunger and thirst. He describes how awful it was to the old prisoner. The endless stretches of sand, no oasis, no sign of life anywhere.
“The old prisoner listens for a while, then says, `Yep, I know. I tried to escape myself, twenty years ago.’
“The young prisoner says, `You did? Why didn’t you tell me, all these months I was planning my escape? Why didn’t you let me know it was impossible?’
“And the old prisoner shrugs, and says, `So who publishes negative results?'” (Jeffery Hudson, in “Scientist as Subject: The Psychological Imperative.”)