Random Quotes

Eric Hoffer

In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.

Max Stirner, born Johann Kaspar Schmidt

There are intellectual vagabonds, to whom the hereditary dwelling-place of their fathers seems too cramped and oppressive for them to be willing to satisfy themselves with the limited space any more: instead of keeping within the limits of a temperate style of thinking, and taking as inviolable truth what furnishes comfort and tranquility to thousands, they overlap all bounds of the traditional and run wild with their imprudent criticism and untamed mania for doubt, these extravagating vagabonds.

Zeno of Elea

By silence, I hear other men's imperfections and conceal my own.

Richard Bach, fully Richard David Bach

Listen to what you know instead of what you fear.

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce

Eulogy. Praise of a person who has either the advantages of wealth and power, or the consideration to be dead.

George Orwell, pen name of Eric Arthur Blair

Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proved innocent, but the tests that have to be applied to them are not, of course, the same in all cases. In Gandhi's case the questions one feels inclined to ask are: to what extent was Gandhi moved by vanity — by the consciousness of himself as a humble, naked old man, sitting on a praying mat and shaking empires by sheer spiritual power — and to what extent did he compromise his own principles by entering politics, which of their nature are inseparable from coercion and fraud? To give a definite answer one would have to study Gandhi's acts and writings in immense detail, for his whole life was a sort of pilgrimage in which every act was significant.

Rainer Maria Rilke, full name René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke

It is a tremendous act of violence to begin anything. I am not able to begin. I simply skip what should be the beginning.

Walter Gropius, fully Walter Adolph Georg Gropius

Architects, painters, sculptors, we must all return to crafts! For there is no such thing as "professional art". There is no essential difference between the artist and the craftsman. The artist is an exalted craftsman. By the grace of Heaven and in rare moments of inspiration which transcend the will, art may unconsciously blossom from the labour of his hand, but a base in handicrafts is essential to every artist. It is there that the original source of creativity lies.

Peter F. Drucker, fully Peter Ferdinand Drucker

We no longer even understand the question whether change is by itself good or bad, ...We start out with the axiom that it is the norm. We do not see change as altering the order... We see change as being order itself--indeed the only order we can comprehend today is a dynamic, a moving, a changing one.

Arthur W Osborn

There is an ecclesiastical cliché used in connection with candidates for the ministry. The candidates do not speak of seeking a job but of receiving a “call,” which in their language is from God. It is a euphemistic pleasantry which deceives no one. Nevertheless the conventional phraseology of being “called” is sometimes a psychological reality and represents an inner transformation and the prelude to a life of dedication. It is a pity that the same spirit is not more evident in the field of medicine. The phenomenon of inner urgency which draws us in one direction against rival interests stems from something deeper than a line of reasoning. Rather it is due to the type of person we are. This prompts us to inquire whether there is any purpose or pattern behind our having been born at all.

Stanley McChrystal

When I arrived in the summer of 2009 to command the war in Afghanistan, I entered an effort that was failing. Many Afghans, some ISAF coalition members, and much of the American public had lost confidence in both the trajectory of the war, and our ability to correct it. So, in my mind, I faced a dual problem: We needed to arrest the deterioration of the effort, and in doing so?by showing tangible results?change the attitudes of onlookers and participants. We had to change both the reality and the perception. Most important, the Afghan people needed to trust that we would win and that our success would be to their benefit.The only way I thought we could do this was by thoroughly changing the way in which ISAF forces operated in order to protect the Afghan people from all threats. For example, one of the biggest concerns was civilian casualties. From their experience watching our bombardment of the Taliban in 2001, many Afghans thought American airpower was almost perfectly accurate. So when we killed civilians in the years after 2001, the only rational explanation, in many Afghans? minds, was that we meant to or we simply didn?t care. After eight long years of war and too many errant bombs, I sensed the Afghan people had grown increasingly wary of our intentions. Civilian casualties also delegitimized the government of Afghanistan, who were our partners and were tarnished by our mistakes. Beyond changing how we employed force to limit civilian casualties, we had to change the way we trained and partnered with the still-nascent Afghan army and police to build them into a large and capable force. And we had to rethink the way we interacted with the Afghans, from the villages to the government ministries. Doing all of this, however, went against the habits, processes, and thinking of some troops that had been ingrained through their training or, in some cases, learned from experience. So I was most afraid that we couldn?t convince our own force?not just American troops, but a diverse coalition of more than 40 nations?of the need to change. Without that cultural shift, simply adding more resources would be insufficient for success.

Frank Herbert, formally Franklin Patrick Herbert, Jr.

When law and duty are one, united by religion, you never become fully conscious, fully aware of yourself. You are always a little less than an individual.

William Shakespeare

God, the best maker of all marriages, combine your hearts in one, your realms in one! As man and wife, being two are one in love, so be there 'twixt your kingdoms such a spousal that never may ill office, or fell jealousy, which troubles oft the bed of blessed marriage, thrust in between the paction of these kingdoms to make divorce of their incorporate league; that English may as French, French Englishmen, receive each other! God speak this Amen! Henry V, Act v, Scene 2

Richard Whately

If, indeed, men were very different from what they are, there might be superior advantages in an elective royalty; but in the actual state of things, the disadvantages will in general greatly outweigh the benefits.

George Bernard Shaw

It is feeling that sets a man thinking, and not thought that sets him feeling.

Mickey Hart, born Michael Steven Hartman

There's nothing like music to relieve the soul and uplift it.

Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni

If one longs for happiness let him cast off all desires; he who has cost off all desires will find the most perfect happiness.

Nisargadatta Maharaj, fully Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, born Maruti Shivrampant Kambli

The sense of ‘I am’ is both unreal and real. Unreal when I say ‘I am this or that’. It is real when we mean ‘I am not this nor that’. The ‘I am’ and the witness are not one, but without one the other cannot be.

Ronald A. Heifetz

Yet when faced with an adaptive challenge, an authority might still choose a more autocratic mode as a result of other factors. First, the organization or community may have too little resilience to bear the stresses of adaptive work. Giving the work back to people may overwhelm them and run counter to prevailing norms.

Gabriel García Márquez, aka Gabo

The girl looked up to see who passed the window and this glance was fortuitous cause a cataclysm of love that, half a century later, was not yet appeased.

Paul Valéry, fully Ambroise-Paul-Toussaint-Jules Valéry

In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished?a word that for them has no sense?but abandoned; and this abandonment, whether to the flames or to the public (and which is the result of weariness or an obligation to deliver) is a kind of an accident to them, like the breaking off of a reflection, which fatigue, irritation, or something similar has made worthless.

Angela Merkel, fully Angela Dorothea Merkel, née Kasner

I have just explained my idea of how a constructive period of reflection, one that would send a clear message to the citizens of Europe: You should know what our priorities are. For Germany this means: Unemployment is one of one of our biggest problems.

Cicero, fully Marcus Tullius Cicero, anglicized as Tully

Freedom suppressed and again regained bites with keener fangs than freedom never endangered.

Thomas Jefferson

With nations, as with individuals, our interests soundly calculated, will ever be found inseparable from our moral duties; and history bears witness to the fact, that a just nation is taken on its word, when recourse is had to armaments, and wars to bridle others.

John Dewey

Man lives in a world of surmise, of mystery, of uncertainties.