Wise Words for Organizers
"The world was not left to us by our parents; it was lent to us by our children."
Abul Ala al-Maari (10th-c. Arab poet):
"And where the Prince commanded, now the shriek of wind is flying through the court of state: 'Here,' it proclaims, 'there dwelt a potentate who could not hear the sobbing of the weak'"
Salvador Allende (Chilean President martyred in 1973):
"Sólo hay una cosa más grande que el amor a la libertad: el odio a quien te la quita." (There is only one thing greater than the love for freedom: hatred for the one who takes it from you.)
American Declaration of Independence:
"All experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."
Maya Angelou (American activist poet, essayist & autobiographer):
"When you learn, teach; when you get, give."
Kofi Annan (UN Secretary-General):
"Let the states that still use the death penalty stay their hand, lest in time to come they look back with remorse knowing it is too late to redeem their grievous mistake."
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."
Matthew Arnold (19th-C. British essayist):
"If ever the world sees a time when women shall come together purely & simply for the benefit of mankind, it would be a power such as the world has never known."
Aung San Suu Kyi (Burmese president-elect & long-time political prisoner):
"It is not power that corrupts, but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it; and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it."
A rabbi asked his students to define the dawn, time for morning prayers. One said, "It is light when you can tell a donkey from a horse;" another, "When you can distinguish a fruit tree from a fig tree." But the rabbi told them: "When you can look into the face of every man and woman and see there the face of your brother and sister, then there is light. All else is darkness."
Henry Ward Beecher (19th-c. American essayist):
"Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right use of strength."
Yogi Berra (American baseball player):
"I can't think & hit at the same time."
"If you do what you've always done, you're gonna get what you always got."
Philip Berrigan (American pacifist):
“Nonviolence is no mystery. It is loving our neighbor as ourselves. Nonviolence is justice. Its vocabulary has no word like enemy. Only sisters & brothers. Nonviolence builds & deepens relationships -- to God, neighbor, self, creation. Nonviolence restores the harmony in creation intended by God. Nonviolence is supremely militant & political. It gravitates toward the streets, war factories, military bases, White Houses & Pentagons. Nonviolence is familiar with arrest, court, & jail. Nonviolence -- one could call it the grace of God -- will alone save us from destroying ourselves & creation. Nonviolence presents us with an either ... or. Either we learn it & live it or .... You fill in the blank. I leave the matter to your faith & dedication & active participation.”
Otto von Bismarck (19th-c. German statesman):
"People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election."
Hebé de Bonafini (Argentine founder of the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo):
"A nosotras no nos interesa el poder; nos interesa la fuerza." (We are not concerned with power; we are concerned with strength."
Dietrich Bonnhoefer (German Lutheran pastor hanged in April, 1945 for conspiring against Hitler):
"Not to speak is to speak...not to act is to act."
Chester Bowles (American diplomat):
"Government is too big and too important to be left to the politicians."
Jacob Bronowski (American philosopher of science):
"No science is immune to the infection of politics & the corruption of power."
Ralphe Bunche (American statesman):
"To suggest that war can prevent war is a base play on words & a despicable form of warmongering. The objective of any who sincerely believe in peace clearly must be to exhaust every honorable recourse in the effort to save the peace. The world has had ample evidence that war begets only conditions that beget further war."
Gen. Smedley Butler, USMC (veteran of early 20th-c. US military interventions):
"War is just a racket...something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses."
Albert Camus (French existentialist novelist & essayist):
"The world I live in is loathsome to me, but I feel as one with the people who suffer in it."
James Carroll (in Boston Globe 5/28/02):
"The only way to live humanly, still, is in resistance to war. The prevention of war, in the nuclear age, must be a central purpose of every person's life. If we human beings leave this problem to governments, we are doomed."
Pablo Casals (Spanish cellist):
"The love of one's country is a splendid thing; but why should love stop at the border?"
Miguel de Cervantes (Spanish author of Don Quixote):
"Too much sanity may be madness; but the maddest of all is to see life as it is & not as it should be."
Cesar Chávez (American nonviolence activist):
"From the depths of need & despair people can work together, can organize themselves to solve their own problems, & fill their own needs with dignity and strength."
G.K. Chesterton (British essayist):
"'My country, right or wrong' is like saying 'my mother, drunk or sober.'"
Noam Chomsky (American linguist & political analyst):
"Freedom is what we make of it. If we stand against repression, authority & illegitimate structures, we are expanding the domain of freedom & that's what freedom will be. That's what we create; there is nothing to define in words."
William Sloane Coffin Jr. (American pacifist preacher):
"Hope arouses, as nothing else can arouse, a passion for the possible."
"The cause of violence is not ignorance. It is self-interest. Only reverence can restrain violence -- reverence for human life, & the environment."
Constitution of the United States (First Amendment):
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press..."
US Senator Alan Cranston (on nuclear deterrence):
"This may have been necessary during the Cold War; it is not necessary forever. It is not acceptable forever. I say it is unworthy of our nation, unworthy of any nation; it is unworthy of civilization."
Dalai Lama (spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists):
"My religion is simple: my religion is kindness."
Clarence Darrow (American criminal defense lawyer):
"From the beginning, a procession of the poor, the weak, the unfit, have gone through our jails & prisons & to their deaths. They have been victims. Crime & poverty & ignorance have always gone hand in hand. When our lawmakers realize this, they will stop legislating more punishment & go after the causes."
Charles Darwin (19th century British naturalist):
"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."
Dorothy Day (American Catholic radical):
"I'm working toward a world in which it would be easier for people to behave decently."
Dave Dellinger (American peace activist):
"Very few people chose war. They chose selfishness, & the result was war. Each of us, individually & nationally, must choose. Total love, or total war."
John Dewey (American philosopher of education):
"No man & no mind was ever emancipated merely by being left alone."
John Donne (17th-c. English poet):
"No person is an island... any person's death diminishes me, for I am involved in humankind."
Frederick Douglass (19th-c. American writer & activist):
"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."
Baba Doum (Hindu guru):
"In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; we will understand only what we are taught."
Barrows Dunham (American political philosopher):
"The human race, which abolished slavery & serfdom, which learned & practiced political democracy, cannot be eternally thwarted of control over its entire social destiny."
Marian Wright Edelman (American political activist):
"A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King Jr. or Mahatma Gandhi to come back, but they are gone. We are it. It is up to us. It is up to you."
Albert Einstein (Nobel Prize-winning physicist):
"Peace cannot be achieved through violence; it can only be attained through understanding."
"Not everything that counts can be counted; & not everything that can be counted, counts."
"Nothing will benefit human health & increase the chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."
"You cannot simultaneously prevent & prepare for war."
"I am not only a pacifist but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace. Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war."
"No problem can be solved from the consciousness that created it. We must learn to see the world anew."
"It is the duty of every citizen according to his best capacities to give validity to his convictions in political affairs."
President Dwight D. Eisenhower (in 1956):
"I like to think that people, in the long run, are going to do more to promote peace than governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much, that one of these days governments had better get out of their way & let them have it."
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger & are not fed, those who are cold & are not clothed."
"I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity."
Ralph Waldo Emerson (19th-century American philosopher):
"What is man born for but to be a Reformer, a Re-maker of what man has made, a renouncer of lies; a restorer of truth and good..."
St. Francis of Assisi:
"While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart."
Anne Frank (young Dutch Jewish diarist of the World War II era):
"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
Thomas Frank (American journalist):
"People getting their fundamental interests wrong is what American political life is all about."
Benjamin Franklin (American political activist of the late 18thc.):
"He who sacrifices freedom for security is neither free nor secure."
"Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor liberty to purchase power."
Paulo Freire (Brazilian theorist of adult education):
"Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful & the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral."
Ernst Friedrich (Marxist writer of the 1920s):
"In all wars the object is to protect or to seize money, property & power; and there will always be wars so long as Capital rules & oppresses people."
Indira Gandhi (Indian Prime Minister, 1971):
"You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist."
Mohandas K. Gandhi (founder of nonviolent mass movement for Indian independence):
"An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind."
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
"Religion is outraged when an outrage is perpetrated in its name."
"Non-violence is a more active & real fight against wickedness than retaliation, whose very nature is to increase wickedness. It is not a weapon of the weak. It is a weapon of the strongest & bravest."
"The difference between what we do & what we are capable of could solve most of the world's problems."
"He alone is truly nonviolent who remains nonviolent even though he has the ability to strike."
"There is no escape from the impending doom save through a bold & unconditional acceptance of the nonviolent method with all its glorious implications."
"What does it matter to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?"
"My patriotism is not an exclusive thing; it is all-embracing. I should reject that patriotism which sought to mount upon the distress or the exploitation of other nations. Mne is consistent with the broadest good of humanity at large."
"Carefully watch your thoughts, for they become your words. Manage & watch your words, for they will become your actions. Consider & judge your actions, for they have become your habits. Acknowledge & watch your habits, for they shall become your values. Understand & embrace your values, for they become your destiny."
Marcus Garvey (Jamaican-American preacher & Pan Africanist leader):
""We profess to live in the atmosphere of Christianity, yet our acts
are as barbarous as if we never knew Christ.
He taught us to love, yet we hate; to forgive, yet we take revenge; to be merciful, yet we condemn & punish."
Martha Gellhorn (American war correspondent, 1959):
"By its existence the Peace Movement denies that government knows best. It stands for a different order of priorities; the human race comes first."
Andre Gide (French novelist):
"The world will be saved, if it can be, only by the unsubmissive."
Ronnie Gilbert (American singer & writer):
"I pledge allegiance to the health, of the United World of the Universe, and to the Earth on which we stand.
One planet, born of love, indivisible, with Rights & Responsibilities for all."
Hermann Goering (Nazi Propaganda minister, at his 1946 Nurenberg war crimes trial):
"Of course the people don't want war.... But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy; & it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship..." [interviewer observes that in US, people have a voice, & only their elected representatives in Congress can declare war.] "Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, & denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism & exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
Goldman, Emma (American anarchist):
"The greatest bulwark of capitalism is militarism."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (German poet, 18th c.):
"Treat people as if they were what they ought to be & you help them to become what they are capable of being."
"I've never heard a crime described that I cannot imagine myself committing."
Horace Greeley (American journalist, writing in 1846):
"Is life not miserable enough, comes death not soon enough, without resort to the hideous enginery of war?"
William Greider (American journalist):
"Everyone's values are defined by what they will tolerate when it is done to others"
Che Guevara (Argentine/Cuban revolutionary):
"Be capable always of feeling any injustice committed against anyone, anywhere in the world."
Woody Guthrie (American folk singer):
"There is just one way to save yourself, & that's to get together & work & fight for everybody."
Stanley Hauerwas (American theologian):
"I'm a pacifist because I am a violent sonofabitch."
Hendrix, Jimi (American rock star):
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."
Ammon Hennacy (Catholic Worker activist):
"Being a pacifist between wars is as easy as being a vegetarian between meals."
Rabbi Abraham Heschel (American theologian & civil rights activist):
"In regard to cruelties committed in the name of a free society, some are guilty, while all are responsible."
"Each has power, & words do not fade; what begins as a sound, ends as a deed."
Julia Ward Howe (19th-c. American poet & feminist):
"We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies."
Langston Hughes (20th-c. American poet):
"O, let America be America again. The land that never has been yet, and yet must be."
Victor Hugo (19th-c. French novelist):
"People do not lack strength, they lack will."
Samuel P. Huntington (American social scientist):
"The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas, values or religion, but by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do."
William James (American philosopher, 1902):
"What we now need to discover in the social realm is the moral equivalent of war: something heroic that will speak to men as universally as war does, & yet will be as compatible with their spiritual selves as war has proven itself to be incompatible."
Thomas Jefferson (co-founder & third President of the US):
"I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just."
"A little patience, & we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, & the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, & incurring the horrors of a war & long oppressions of enormous public debt. If the game runs sometimes against us at home, we must have patience till luck turns, & then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake." (in 1798)
"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism."
"People who expect to be ignorant & free expect what never was & never will be."
Kyle Johnson (bumper sticker entrepreneur):
"I believe in the First Amendment. The best antidote to bad speech is more speech."
Samuel Johnson (18th-c. English gad-about):
"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."
Brian Jones (US Army vet, on one-time friend, DC sniper & Gulf War vet John Allen Muhammad):
"That stare he has in his eyes, a lot of veterans have it. That's why they go from place to place, never fitting in anywhere."
"Mother" Jones (early 20th c. American radical):
"Pray for the dead, & fight like Hell for the living."
June Jordan (American poet):
"All of Western tradition dictates that you do something spectacular and irreversible whenever you find yourself in, or impose yourself upon, a wholly unfamiliar situation belonging to somebody else."
Garret Keizer (American writer on politics):
"When you take political awareness away from a political animal, what you're often left with is an animal, that is to say, with a creature having no convictions, only aversions."
Helen Keller (American socialist):
"I do not want the peace that passeth understanding. I want the understanding which bringeth peace."
Justice Anthony Kennedy (in Ashcroft vs. Free Speech Coalition, 2002):
"The right to think is the beginning of freedom; the right to speak is the beginning of thought."
President John Kennedy (to UN on 9/25/61):
"Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind."
Robert Kennedy (murdered 1968 American presidential candidate, speaking in South Africa):
"Each time a person stands up for an idea, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope."
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (leader of nonviolent American movement for peace & justice):
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
"Love is the most durable power in the world. This creative force...is the most potent instrument available in man's quest for peace & security."
"Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding, and ennobles the person who wields it. It is a sword that heals."
"Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of justice."
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that"
"We must accept finite disappointment; but we must never lose infinite hope."
"For years I labored with the idea of reforming the existing institutions of the society, a little change here, a little change there. Now I feel quite differently. I think you've got to have a reconstruction of the entire society, a revolution of values."
"Freedom is never given by the oppressor: it must be demanded by the oppressed."
"Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we don't see."
"We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation."
"The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today is my own government... For the sake of humanity, I cannot be silent!"
"The thunder of fearless voices is the only sound louder than the burst of bombs & the outbursts of war hysteria.
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
"Anyone can be great, because everyone can serve."
"Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifce, suffering & struggle; the tireless exertions & passionate concern of dedicated individuals."
Maggie Kuhn (American seniors' movement acivist):
"Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes."
Milan Kundera (Czech novelist):
"The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting."
Landau, Saul (American journalist & film-maker):
"US policy towards the Third World since World War II can be summed up in two words: 'kill peasants'."
Lao-Tze (ancient Chinese philosopher):
"When the country falls into chaos, patriotism is born."
Aldo Leopold (American naturalist & philosopher):
"The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the pieces."
Sinclair Lewis (American novelist):
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag & carrying a cross."
Abraham Lincoln (in 1864):
"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me & causes me to tremble for the safety of my country... Corporations have been enthroned & an era of corruption in high places will follow, & the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."
James Madison (fourth President of the US):
"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, & a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives. A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce, a tragedy or both."
"I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual & silent encroachments of those in power than by violent & sudden usurpations."
"If Tyranny & Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."
Norman Mailer (American novelist):
"Journalists are only sensors of the currents in the churn."
Bob Marley (Jamaican Reggae singer & prophet):
"This peace work, it don't stop. It never stop."
Ignacio Martín-Baró, SJ (Liberation psychologist & Jesuit martyr in El Salvador):
"A society that becomes accustomed to using violence to solve its problems, both large & small, is a society in which the roots of human relations are diseased."
Margaret Meade (American anthropologist):
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
Edwin Markham (American poet):
"He drew a circle that shut me out ---. Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But Love & I had the wit to win: We drew a circle that took him in!"
H.L. Mencken (American essayist):
"The whole scheme of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
”Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on 'I am not too sure'."
Thomas Merton (American Trappist monk-theologian):
"When I pray for peace, I pray not only that the enemies of my own country may cease to want war, but above all that my own country will cease to do the things that make war inevitable."
John Milton (English poet, 1652):
"Peace hath her victories/No less reknowned than war."
Mitford, Jessica (British-American muckraker):
"You may not be able to change the world, but at least you can embarrass the guilty."
Michael Moore (American film maker, 2001):
"It's not about weapons of mass destruction; it's about weapons of mass distraction."
US Senator Daniel Moynihan:
"Secrecy is a form of regulation."
Munir Said Thalib (Indonesian human rights activist):
"Human rights in the sense of human solidarity has created a new universal and equal language, going beyond racial, ethnic, gender or religious boundaries. That is why we consider it a doorway to dialogue for people of all socioeconomic groups and all ideologies."
Frank Murphy (US Supreme Court Justice):
"Only by zealously guarding the rights of the most humble, the most unorthodox & the most despised among us, can freedom flourish & endure in our land."
Benito Mussolini (Italian dictator):
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state & corporate power."
A.J. Muste (American socialist & pacifist):
"The problem after a war is with the victor. He thinks he has just proved that war & violence pay. Who now will teach him a lesson?"
Ralph Nader (American activist & reformer):
"The unconstrained behavior
of big business is subordinating our democracy to the control of a
corporate plutocracy, one that knows few self-imposed limits to the spread of its power to all sectors of our society."
Jayaprakash Narayan (Indian political leader):
"I have no doubt that the humane treatment even of a murderer will enhance man's dignity, & make society more human."
Wally Nelson (WW II conscientious objector & co-founder of Peacemakers):
"Nonviolence is a constant awareness of the dignity & humanity of oneself & others. It seeks truth & justice. It renounces violence, both in method & in attitude. It is a courageous acceptance of active love & goodwill as the instruments with which to overcome evil & transform both oneself & others. It is the willingness to undergo suffering rather than inflict it. It excludes retaliation & flight."
Pablo Neruda (Chilean poet):
"They can cut all the flowers, but they cannot stop the coming of Spring."
Carl Oglesby (Students for a Democratic Society leader of the 60's):
"It isn't the rebels who cause the troubles of the world; it's the troubles that cause the rebels."
Paul Ortiz (American historian & activist):
"Individuals in the modern world cannot survive with dignity unless we learn to cooperate with others in formal organizations."
George Orwell (British novelist & essayist):
"All that was required of them was a primitive patriotism which could be appealed to whenever it was necessary to make them accept longer working hours or shorter rations. And even when they became discontented, as they sometimes did, their discontent led nowhere, because, being without general ideas, they could only focus it on petty specific grievances. The larger evils invariably escaped their notice." (in 1984)
Ruth Ozeki (American novelist):
"Ignorance is an act of will, a choice that one makes over & over again, especially when information overwhelms & knowledge has become synonymous with impotence."
Thomas Paine (British/American radical democrat, late 18th c.):
"My country is the world; & my religion is to do good."
"It is the duty of a patriot to defend his country from its government."
Michael Parenti (American radical scholar & activist):
"In the world wrought by American empire, known euphemistically nowadays as 'globalization,' the practice of democracy is class struggle. Democracy everywhere is under siege by plutocracy."
"There's only one thing the ruling interests have ever wanted, and that's everything."
Blaise Pascal (17th-c. French mathematician & religious thinker):
"We are usually convinced more easily by reasons we have found ourselves than by those which have occurred to others."
Pliny the Elder (Roman historian):
"Small boys throw stones at frogs in jest; but the frogs do not die in jest, they die in earnest."
Ras Bassa Rajah (Jamaican theologian):
"The materialist philosophy teaches man to grab for 'self' & his family at the expense of others, leading him to destroy those who may seem to be an obstacle to the fulfillment of selfish desires. Man even makes his inverted Gods condone this barbarity. Such is the state of man's ignorance & cruelty that he is now on the brink of annihilating himself & the planet on which he dwells."
Jeannette Rankin (first American Congresswoman, 1943):
"You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake."
Mary Roberts Rinehart (American mystery writer & war correspondent, 1918):
"Peace is not a passive but an active condition, not a negation but an affirmation. It is a gesture as strong as war."
Eleanor Roosevelt (American stateswoman):
"It isn't enough to talk about peace; one must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it; one must work at it."
"When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?"
"Either we are going to die together, or we are going to learn to live together. And if we are going to live together, we have to talk."
"In the long run there is no more liberating, no more exhilarating experience than to determine one's position, state it bravely, & then act boldly."
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (mid-20th-C. President of the US):
"We have nothing to fear but fear itself."
Theodore Roosevelt (early 20th-C. President of the US):
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic & servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
Fred Ross Sr. (American grassroots organizer):
"The duty of an organizer is to provide people with an opportunity to work for what they believe in."
Arundhati Roy (Indian novelist & activist):
"The only thing worth globalizing is dissent."
Saadi (13th-c. Persian poet):
"The human race is a single being created from one jewel. If one member is struck, all must feel the blow. Only someone who cares for the pain of others can truly be called human."
Carl Sandburg (American poet):
"Sometime they'll give a war & nobody will come."
Jean-Paul Sartre (French Existentialist philosopher):
"If a victory is told in detail, one can no longer distinguish it from a defeat."
"The task of the intellectual is not to decide where there are battles but to join them wherever & whenever the people wage them. Commitment is an act, not a word."
Carl Schurz (19th-c. German immigrant general & politician):
"Our country, right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right."
"If you want to be free, there is but one way. It is to guarantee an equally full measure of liberty to all your neighbors."
Albert Schweitzer (Swiss medical missionary & biblical scholar):
"It is not right to be permanently preoccupied with our own well-being; the welfare of others and of human society in general must become part of our responsibility."
"Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight."
"Until he extends his circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace."
Chief Seattle (Native American prophet):
"Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect."
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (American voting rights activist):
"Truth is the only safe ground to stand upon."
Adlai E. Stevenson (American politician of the McCarthy era):
"Patriotism is not a short & frenzied outburst of emotion, but the tranquil & steady dedication of a lifetime."
Gino Strada (Italian doctor working in Afghanistan, 2001):
"If your human rights are not for everybody, they are not rights; they are just privileges"
Fred Sweet (American labor journalist):
"Leave your ideas around for others to stumble upon. There's no limit to how much good you can do in the world if you don't care who gets the credit."
David Sweet-Cordero (Mexican & American film maker, 2001):
"Let us move beyond tolerance to engagement. Ignorance, prejudice & fear keep us disregarding, hating & hurting one another. Engagement enables us to see ourselves as connected to others, bound by the same yearning for life & love. All of us want simply to live, to love & to be loved."
Tacitus (Roman Historian):
"To plunder, to slaughter, to steal: these things they misname empire, and where they create a wilderness they call it peace.
Kurt Tucholsky (German journalist, 1890-1935):
"A country is not only what it does—it is also what it puts up with, what it tolerates."
Desmond Tutu (Anglican Archbishop of South Africa):
"If peace is our goal, there can be no future without foregiveness."
Mark Twain (American novelist & humorist):
"Loyalty to a petrified opinion never broke a chain or freed a human soul."
"No civilization can be perfect until exact equality between man & woman is included."
"Loyalty to my country, always; loyalty to the government, when it deserves it."
Morihei Ueshiba (Japanese master of martial arts & founder of Aikido):
"Always practice the Art of Peace in a vibrant & joyful manner."
Peter Ustinov (British actor & playwright):
"Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich."
François Voltaire (18th-c. French Enlightenment writer):
"Those who can convince us to believe absurdities can convince us to commit atrocities."
Alex de Waal (American journalist):
"The commonest cause of war is war."
Alice Walker (American novelist & essayist):
"No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow."
Victor Wallis (American journalist, on Mumia Abu-Jamal):
"Advocacy of capital punishment & opposition to even the barest measures of social improvement have always gone hand in hand. Institutionalized killing perpetuates the culture of meanness which competitive priorities demand."
Andy Warhol (American artist):
"They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself."
George Washington (co-founder & first President of the US):
"It is now no more that tolerance is spoken of, as if it were by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights."
"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."
H.G. Wells (British novelist & historian):
"Human history becomes more & more a race between education & catastrophe."
Paul Wellstone (US Senator from Minnesota):
"Never separate the lives you live from the words you speak."
Eudora Welty (American novelist):
"My continuing passion would be to part the curtain, that invisible shadow that falls between people, the veil of indifference to each other's presence, each other's wonder, each other's human plight."
William Allen White (Kansas newspaper editor):
"Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you are willing to give it to others."
Tennessee Williams (American dramatist):
"The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks."
Woodrow Wilson (US President, 1913-1921):
"The history of liberty is a history of resistance. the history of liberty is a history of limitations on government power, not the increase of it."
Gerrard Winstanley (17th-c. English defender of the commons):
"The Earth was made by almighty God to be a Common Treasury of Livelihood to the whole of mankind in all its branches, without respect of persons."
"Thoughts & words ran in me that words & writing were all nothing, & must die, for action is the life of all, & if thou dost not act, thou dost nothing."
John Winthrop (Massachusetts Bay colonist, 1630):
"The eyes of all people are upon us, so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause him to withdraw his present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword through the world."
Stevie Wonder (American rock star):
"Love's in need of love today. Don't delay. Send yours in right away."
Virginia Woolf (English novelist, 1938):
"We can best help you prevent war not by repeating your words & following your methods, but by finding new words & creating new methods."
Malcolm X (African American political activist):
"We ourselves have to lift the level of our community to a higher level...make our own society beautiful so that we will be satisfied... We've got to change our minds about each other. We have to see each other with new eyes... We have to come together with warmth."
W.B. Yeats (Irish poet):
"Think where men's glory most begins & ends. And say my glory was I had such friends."
Howard Zinn (American historian):
"No flag is large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people."
"Terrorism and war have something in common. They both involve killing innocent
people to achieve what the killers believe is a good end."