Thinkers

Positive thinkers get positive results because they appreciate the inestimable value of a day, this day, not the next day, but this day, and every day. Today offers at least sixteen hours that may be crammed full of opportunity, joy, excitement, achievement.

There is always room for a man of force, and he makes room for many. Society is a troop of thinkers, and the best heads among them take the best places.

Valuable or good is all that which contributes to the greater unfolding of man's specific faculties and furthers life. Negative or bad is everything that strangles life and paralyzes man's activeness. All norms of the great humanist religions like Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, or Islam or the great humanist philosophers from the pre-Socratics to contemporary thinkers are the specific elaboration of this general principle of values.

Most thinkers write badly, because they communicate not only their thoughts, but also the thinking of them.

Contemporary thinkers would say that man is continuously transcending himself.

Readers are plentiful: thinkers are rare.

To know the history of philosophy is to know that the highest thinkers of the ages, the seers of the tribes and the nations, have been optimists. The growth of philosophy is the story of man's spiritual life.

The idea of brotherhood redawns upon the world with a broader significance than the narrow association of members in a sect or creed; and thinkers of great soul like Lessing challenge the world to say which is more godlike, the hatred and tooth-and-nail grapple of conflicting religions, or sweet accord and mutual helpfulness. Ancient prejudice of man against his brother-man wavers and retreats before the radiance of a more generous sentiment, which will not sacrifice men to forms, or rob them of the comfort and strength they find in their own beliefs. The heresy of one age becomes the orthodoxy of the next. Mere tolerance has given place to a sentiment of brotherhood between sincere men of all denominations.

People are an organization's only appreciable asset, but creative people are an organization's most needed asset. Be willing to absorb some risk and failures to allow people freedom to express themselves. Creative leaders inherently know when rules need to be challenged, and they can see when a more flexible approach should be taken. Handle the ideas of your people carefully: If an idea is half-developed but has potential, pass it to the people in your organization who are proven process thinkers and implementers. Sometimes giving your people permission to be creative is not enough; inspire them by modeling creativity.
The word 'reactive' and the word 'creative' are made up of exactly the same letters; the only difference between the two is that you 'c' (see) differently.

It is doubtful whether our present system of popular education does not retard independent or self thinking as much as it promotes it. All genuine education is self-education. It will incite the individual to think for himself, by rethinking what the race's great thinkers have already thought for him, thus enabling him to go ahead under his own mental steam.

In a million people there are a thousand thinkers, and in a thousand thinkers there is one self-thinker.

There can never be any real opposition between religion and science; for the one is the complement of the other. Every serious and reflective person realizes, I think, that the religious element in his nature must be recognized and cultivated if all the powers of the human soul are to act together in perfect balance and harmony. And indeed it was not by accident that the greatest thinkers of all ages were deeply religious souls.

It was the United States of America, with its system of limited, constitutional government, that implemented the principle of capitalism-free trade on a free market-to the greatest extent. In America, during the nineteenth century, people’s productive activities were for the most part left free of governmental regulations, controls, and restrictions; most thinkers considered themselves thoroughly emancipated from the discredited economic policies of medievalism, mercantilism, and precapitalist statism.

Why is the relational view difficult for many educators?

The relational view is hard for some American thinkers to accept because the Western tradition puts such great emphasis on individualism. In that tradition, it is almost instinctive to regard virtues as personal possessions, hard-won through a grueling process of character building. John Dewey rejected this view and urged us to consider virtues as “working adaptations of personal capacities with environing forces”. Care theorists expand this Deweyan insight and emphasize the role of our partners in interaction as a central factor in “environing forces.” We recognize moral interdependence. How good (or bad) I can be depends in substantial part on how you treat me. Acknowledging our moral interdependence means rejecting Kant’s claim that it is contradictory to make our ourselves responsible for another’s moral perfection. Care theorists insist that we must, indeed, accept such responsibility. Without imposing my values on an other, I must realize that my treatment of him may deeply affect the way he behaves in the world. Although no individual can escape responsibility for his own actions, neither can the community that produced him escape its part in making him what he has become.

For a parallel to the lesson of atomic theory regarding the limited applicability of such customary idealizations, we must in fact turn to quite other branches of science, such as psychology, or even to that kind of epistemological problems with which already thinkers like Buddha and Lao Tzu have been confronted, when trying to harmonize our position as spectators and actors in the great drama of existence.

Ere many generations pass, our machinery will be driven by a power obtainable at any point of the universe. This idea is not novel. Men have been led to it long ago by instinct or reason; it has been expressed in many ways, and in many places, in the history of old and new. We find it in the delightful myth of Antheus, who derives power from the earth; we find it among the subtle speculations of one of your splendid mathematicians and in many hints and statements of thinkers of the present time. Throughout space there is energy. Is this energy static or kinetic! If static our hopes are in vain; if kinetic — and this we know it is, for certain — then it is a mere question of time when men will succeed in attaching their machinery to the very wheelwork of nature.

The scientists from Franklin to Morse were clear thinkers and did not produce erroneous theories. The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.

Early Chinese thinkers had taken variety at face value. They had favored diversification and collected anomalies instead of trying to explain them away.

Even bold and revolutionary thinkers bow to the judgment of science. Kropotkin wants to break up all existing institutions, but he does not touch science. Ibsen goes very far in his critique of bourgeois society, but he retains science as a measure of truth. Levi Strauss has made us realize that Western thought is not the lonely peak of human achievement it was once thought to be, but he and his followers exclude science from their relativization of ideologies. Marx and Engels were convinced that science would aid the workers in their quest for mental and social liberation.

A different conception of society, very different from that which now prevails, is in process of formation. Under the name of Anarchy, a new interpretation of the past and present life of society arises, giving at the same time a forecast as regards its future, both conceived in the same spirit as the above-mentioned interpretation in natural sciences. Anarchy, therefore, appears as a constituent part of the new philosophy, and that is why Anarchists come in contact, on so many points, with the greatest thinkers and poets of the present day.