Morale Building Quotes

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Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less. These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete... Remember, to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent. Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person might not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
Bob Moorehead (Words Aptly Spoken)
If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated, don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise If you can dream - and not make dreams your master; If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the will which says to them: 'Hold on!' If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
Rudyard Kipling (If: A Father's Advice to His Son)
Chasing a person doesn’t give you value or build values in you. You earn your value by chasing morality and practicing dignity.
Shannon L. Alder
I don't know what London's coming to — the higher the buildings the lower the morals.
Noël Coward (Collected Sketches and Lyrics)
In the year 2006, a person can have sufficient intellectual and material resources to build a nuclear bomb and still believe that he will get seventy-two virgins in Paradise.
Sam Harris
Today is filled with anger, fueled with hidden hate. Scared of being outkast, afraid of common fate. Today is build on tragedies which no one want's to face. Nightmares to humanity and morally disgraced. Tonight is filled with Rage, violence in the air. Children bred with ruthlessness cause no one at home cares. Tonight I lay my head down but the pressure never stops, knowing that my sanity content when I'm droped. But tomorrow I see change, a chance to build a new, build on spirit intent of heart and ideas based on truth. Tomorrow I wake with second wind and strong because of pride. I know I fought with all my heart to keep the dream alive.
Tupac Shakur
Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance. Stability, not fear and terror. Peace, not chaos. Love, not hate. Convergence, not segregation. Tolerance, not discrimination. Fairness, not hypocrisy. Substance, not superficiality. Character, not immaturity. Transparency, not secrecy. Justice, not lawlessness. Environmental improvement and preservation, not destruction. Truth, not lies.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
In the simple moral maxim the Marine Corps teaches — do the right thing, for the right reason — no exception exists that says: unless there's criticism or risk. Damn the consequences.
Josh Rushing (Mission Al-Jazeera: Build a Bridge, Seek the Truth, Change the World)
The five points of yama, together with the five points of niyama, remind us of the Ten Commandments of the Christtian and Jewish faiths, as well as of the ten virtues of Buddhism. In fact, there is no religion without these moral or ethical codes. All spiritual life should be based on these things. They are the foundation stones without which we can never build anything lasting. (127)
Satchidananda (The Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali)
God has a way of picking a “nobody” and turning their world upside down, in order to create a “somebody” that will remove the obstacles they encountered out of the pathway for others.
Shannon L. Alder
The loss of these tastes [for poetry and music] is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.
Charles Darwin (The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809–82)
We have undoubtedly achieved Pakistan, and that too without bloody war, practically peacefully, by moral and intellectual force, and with the power of the pen, which is no less mighty than that of the sword and so our righteous cause has triumphed. Are we now going to besmear and tarnish this greatest achievement for which there is no parallel in the history of the world? Pakistan is now a fait accompli and it can never be undone, besides, it was the only just, honourable, and practical solution of the most complex constitutional problem of this great subcontinent. Let us now plan to build and reconstruct and regenerate our great nation...
Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Professor Langdon,' called a young man with curly hair in the back row, 'if Masonry is not a secret society, not a corporation, and not a religion, then what is it?' 'Well, if you were to ask a Mason, he would offer the following definition: Masonry is a system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.' 'Sounds to me like a euphemism for "freaky cult." ' 'Freaky, you say?' 'Hell yes!' the kid said, standing up. 'I heard what they do inside those secret buildings! Weird candlelight rituals with coffins, and nooses, and drinking wine out of skulls. Now that's freaky!' Langdon scanned the class. 'Does that sound freaky to anyone else?' 'Yes!' they all chimed in. Langdon feigned a sad sigh. 'Too bad. If that's too freaky for you, then I know you'll never want to join my cult.' Silence settled over the room. The student from the Women's Center looked uneasy. 'You're in a cult?' Langdon nodded and lowered his voice to a conspiratorial whisper. 'Don't tell anyone, but on the pagan day of the sun god Ra, I kneel at the foot of an ancient instrument of torture and consume ritualistic symbols of blood and flesh.' The class looked horrified. Langdon shrugged. 'And if any of you care to join me, come to the Harvard chapel on Sunday, kneel beneath the crucifix, and take Holy Communion.' The classroom remained silent. Langdon winked. 'Open your minds, my friends. We all fear what we do not understand.
Dan Brown (The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3))
Pick a leader who will make their citizens proud. One who will stir the hearts of the people, so that the sons and daughters of a given nation strive to emulate their leader's greatness. Only then will a nation be truly great, when a leader inspires and produces citizens worthy of becoming future leaders, honorable decision makers and peacemakers. And in these times, a great leader must be extremely brave. Their leadership must be steered only by their conscience, not a bribe.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Pick a leader who will keep jobs in your country by offering companies incentives to hire only within their borders, not one who allows corporations to outsource jobs for cheaper labor when there is a national employment crisis. Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance. Stability, not fear and terror. Peace, not chaos. Love, not hate. Convergence, not segregation. Tolerance, not discrimination. Fairness, not hypocrisy. Substance, not superficiality. Character, not immaturity. Transparency, not secrecy. Justice, not lawlessness. Environmental improvement and preservation, not destruction. Truth, not lies.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
A NATION'S GREATNESS DEPENDS ON ITS LEADER To vastly improve your country and truly make it great again, start by choosing a better leader. Do not let the media or the establishment make you pick from the people they choose, but instead choose from those they do not pick. Pick a leader from among the people who is heart-driven, one who identifies with the common man on the street and understands what the country needs on every level. Do not pick a leader who is only money-driven and does not understand or identify with the common man, but only what corporations need on every level. Pick a peacemaker. One who unites, not divides. A cultured leader who supports the arts and true freedom of speech, not censorship. Pick a leader who will not only bail out banks and airlines, but also families from losing their homes -- or jobs due to their companies moving to other countries. Pick a leader who will fund schools, not limit spending on education and allow libraries to close. Pick a leader who chooses diplomacy over war. An honest broker in foreign relations. A leader with integrity, one who says what they mean, keeps their word and does not lie to their people. Pick a leader who is strong and confident, yet humble. Intelligent, but not sly. A leader who encourages diversity, not racism. One who understands the needs of the farmer, the teacher, the doctor, and the environmentalist -- not only the banker, the oil tycoon, the weapons developer, or the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyist. Pick a leader who will keep jobs in your country by offering companies incentives to hire only within their borders, not one who allows corporations to outsource jobs for cheaper labor when there is a national employment crisis. Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance. Stability, not fear and terror. Peace, not chaos. Love, not hate. Convergence, not segregation. Tolerance, not discrimination. Fairness, not hypocrisy. Substance, not superficiality. Character, not immaturity. Transparency, not secrecy. Justice, not lawlessness. Environmental improvement and preservation, not destruction. Truth, not lies. Most importantly, a great leader must serve the best interests of the people first, not those of multinational corporations. Human life should never be sacrificed for monetary profit. There are no exceptions. In addition, a leader should always be open to criticism, not silencing dissent. Any leader who does not tolerate criticism from the public is afraid of their dirty hands to be revealed under heavy light. And such a leader is dangerous, because they only feel secure in the darkness. Only a leader who is free from corruption welcomes scrutiny; for scrutiny allows a good leader to be an even greater leader. And lastly, pick a leader who will make their citizens proud. One who will stir the hearts of the people, so that the sons and daughters of a given nation strive to emulate their leader's greatness. Only then will a nation be truly great, when a leader inspires and produces citizens worthy of becoming future leaders, honorable decision makers and peacemakers. And in these times, a great leader must be extremely brave. Their leadership must be steered only by their conscience, not a bribe.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here, that's home, that's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
Love is the fundamental building block of all human relationships. It will greatly impact our values and morals. Love is the important ingredient in one’s search for meaning.
Gary Chapman (The Five Love Languages for Singles)
...What I have denied and what my reason compels me to deny, is the existence of a Being throned above us as a god, directing our mundane affairs in detail, regarding us as individuals, punishing us, rewarding us as human judges might. When the churches learn to take this rational view of things, when they become true schools of ethics and stop teaching fables, they will be more effective than they are to-day... If they would turn all that ability to teaching this one thing – the fact that honesty is best, that selfishness and lies of any sort must surely fail to produce happiness – they would accomplish actual things. Religious faiths and creeds have greatly hampered our development. They have absorbed and wasted some fine intellects. That creeds are getting to be less and less important to the average mind with every passing year is a good sign, I think, although I do not wish to talk about what is commonly called theology. The criticisms which have been hurled at me have not worried me. A man cannot control his beliefs. If he is honest in his frank expression of them, that is all that can in justice be required of him. Professor Thomson and a thousand others do not in the least agree with me. His criticism of me, as I read it, charged that because I doubted the soul’s immortality, or ‘personality,’ as he called it, my mind must be abnormal, ‘pathological,’ in other, words, diseased... I try to say exactly what I honestly believe to be the truth, and more than that no man can do. I honestly believe that creedists have built up a mighty structure of inaccuracy, based, curiously, on those fundamental truths which I, with every honest man, must not alone admit but earnestly acclaim. I have been working on the same lines for many years. I have tried to go as far as possible toward the bottom of each subject I have studied. I have not reached my conclusions through study of traditions; I have reached them through the study of hard fact. I cannot see that unproved theories or sentiment should be permitted to have influence in the building of conviction upon matters so important. Science proves its theories or it rejects them. I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious theories of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God. I earnestly believe that I am right; I cannot help believing as I do... I cannot accept as final any theory which is not provable. The theories of the theologians cannot be proved. Proof, proof! That is what I always have been after; that is what my mind requires before it can accept a theory as fact. Some things are provable, some things disprovable, some things are doubtful. All the problems which perplex us, now, will, soon or late, be solved, and solved beyond a question through scientific investigation. The thing which most impresses me about theology is that it does not seem to be investigating. It seems to be asserting, merely, without actual study. ...Moral teaching is the thing we need most in this world, and many of these men could be great moral teachers if they would but give their whole time to it, and to scientific search for the rock-bottom truth, instead of wasting it upon expounding theories of theology which are not in the first place firmly based. What we need is search for fundamentals, not reiteration of traditions born in days when men knew even less than we do now. [Columbian Magazine interview]
Thomas A. Edison
You can build the Empire State Building. Train the Prussian army. Elevate the hierarchy of a totalitarian state higher than the throne of the Most High. But there are still people whose moral superiority defeats your own.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The First Circle)
The thought of building a life around minimal morality or minimal significance—a life defined by the question, “What is permissible?”—felt almost disgusting to me. I didn’t want a minimal life. I didn’t want to live on the outskirts of reality. I wanted to understand the main thing about life and pursue it.
John Piper (Don't Waste Your Life)
when you avoid solitude, you miss out on the positive things it brings you: the ability to clarify hard problems, to regulate your emotions, to build moral courage, and to strengthen relationships.
Cal Newport (Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World)
If men will permit themselves to think, as rational beings ought to think, nothing can appear more ridiculous and absurd, exclusive of all moral reflections, than to be at the expence of building navies, filling them with men, and then hauling them into the ocean, to try which can sink each other fastester. Peace, which costs nothing, is attended with infintely more advantage than any victory with all its expence. But this, though it best answers the purpose of Nations, does not that of Court Governments, whose habited policy is pretence for taxation, places, and offices.
Thomas Paine (Rights of Man)
Until America begins to build a moral record in her dealings with the Indian people she should not try to fool the rest of the world about her intentions on other continents. America has always been a militantly imperialistic world power eagerly grasping for economic control over weaker nations.
Vine Deloria Jr.
When she first came here she used to think there was somebody up in those big buildings who knows what's going on here. They would never come down and talk to her. After a while she found out nobody knows what's going on.
Robert M. Pirsig (Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals (Phaedrus, #2))
Judging from the spiderwebs clinging to it, the emergency stairway was hardly ever used. To each web clung a small black spider, patiently waiting for its small prey to come along. Not that the spiders had any awareness of being "patient". A spider had no special skill other than building its web, and no lifestyle choice other than sitting still. It would stay in one place waiting for its prey until, in the natural course of things, it shriveled up and died. This was all genetically predetermined. The spider had no confusion, no despair, no regrets. No metaphysical doubt, no moral complications. Probably. Unlike me. I move,therefore I am.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (1Q84, #1-3))
The lottery is a tax on poor people and on people who can’t do math. Rich people and smart people would be in the line if the lottery were a real wealth-building tool, but the truth is that the lottery is a rip-off instituted by our government. This is not a moral position; it is a mathematical, statistical fact. Studies show that the zip codes that spend four times what anyone else does on lottery tickets are those in lower-income parts of town. The lottery, or gambling of any kind, offers false hope, not a ticket out.
Dave Ramsey (The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness)
Sustainable change, after all, depends not upon compliance with external mandates or blind adherence to regulation, but rather upon the pursuit of the greater good.
Douglas B. Reeves (Leading Change in Your School: How to Conquer Myths, Build Commitment, and Get Results)
you don’t plan your way into finding your purpose. You live into it.
Jacqueline Novogratz (Manifesto for a Moral Revolution: Practices to Build a Better World)
Historically, all ethics undoubtedly begin with religion; but I do not now deal with historical questions. I do not ask who was the first lawgiver. I only maintain that it is we, and we alone, who are responsible for adopting or rejecting some suggested moral laws; it is we who must distinguish between the true prophets and the false prophets. All kinds of norms have been claimed to be God-given. If you accept 'Christian' ethics of equality and toleration and freedom of conscience only because of its claim to rest upon divine authority, then you build on a weak basis; for it has been only too often claimed that inequality is willed by God, and that we must not be tolerant with unbelievers. If, however, you accept the Christian ethics not because you are commanded to do so but because of your conviction that it is the right decision to take, then it is you who have decided.
Karl Popper (The Open Society and Its Enemies - Volume One: The Spell of Plato)
Here’s the thing about Hollywood. It’s both a place and a feeling. If you run there, you can run toward Southern California, where the sun always shines and the grimy buildings and dirty sidewalks are replaced by palm trees and orange groves. But you also run toward the way life is portrayed in the movies. You run toward a world that is moral and just, where the good guys win and the bad guys lose, where the pain you face is only in an effort to make you stronger, so that you can win that much bigger in the end.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo)
America was never innocent. We popped our cherry on the boat over and looked back with no regrets. You can't ascribe our fall from grace to any single event or set of circumstances. You can't lose what you lacked at conception. Mass-market nostalgia gets you hopped up for a past that never existed. Hagiography sanctifies shuck-and-jive politicians and reinvents their expedient gestures as moments of great moral weight. Our continuing narrative line is blurred past truth and hindsight. Only a reckless verisimilitude can set that line straight. The real Trinity of Camelot was Look Good, Kick Ass, Get Laid. Jack Kennedy was the mythological front man for a particularly juicy slice of our history. He called a slick line and wore a world-class haircut. He was Bill Clinton minus pervasive media scrutiny and a few rolls of flab. Jack got whacked at the optimum moment to assure his sainthood. Lies continue to swirl around his eternal flame. It's time to dislodge his urn and cast light on a few men who attended his ascent and facilitated his fall. They were rouge cops and shakedown artist. They were wiretappers and soldiers of fortune and faggot lounge entertainers. Had one second of their lives deviated off course, American History would not exist as we know it. It's time to demythologize an era and build a new myth from the gutter to the stars. It's time to embrace bad men and the price they paid to secretly define there time. Here's to them.
James Ellroy (American Tabloid (Underworld USA #1))
If you want to build a positive attitude, then associate with people of high moral character and read books that lead you to positive thinking.
Shiv Khera (You Can Win: A Step-by-Step Tool for Top Achievers)
Thus, the most complete definition of a commitment is this: falling in love with something and then building a structure of behavior around it for those moments when love falters.
David Brooks (The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life)
Imagine a young Isaac Newton time-travelling from 1670s England to teach Harvard undergrads in 2017. After the time-jump, Newton still has an obsessive, paranoid personality, with Asperger’s syndrome, a bad stutter, unstable moods, and episodes of psychotic mania and depression. But now he’s subject to Harvard’s speech codes that prohibit any “disrespect for the dignity of others”; any violations will get him in trouble with Harvard’s Inquisition (the ‘Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion’). Newton also wants to publish Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, to explain the laws of motion governing the universe. But his literary agent explains that he can’t get a decent book deal until Newton builds his ‘author platform’ to include at least 20k Twitter followers – without provoking any backlash for airing his eccentric views on ancient Greek alchemy, Biblical cryptography, fiat currency, Jewish mysticism, or how to predict the exact date of the Apocalypse. Newton wouldn’t last long as a ‘public intellectual’ in modern American culture. Sooner or later, he would say ‘offensive’ things that get reported to Harvard and that get picked up by mainstream media as moral-outrage clickbait. His eccentric, ornery awkwardness would lead to swift expulsion from academia, social media, and publishing. Result? On the upside, he’d drive some traffic through Huffpost, Buzzfeed, and Jezebel, and people would have a fresh controversy to virtue-signal about on Facebook. On the downside, we wouldn’t have Newton’s Laws of Motion.
Geoffrey Miller
A CRASH COURSE FOR SUCCESS    • Play to win and not to lose.    • Learn from other people’s mistakes.    • Associate with people of high moral character.    • Give more than you get.    • Don’t look for something for nothing.    • Always think long term.    • Evaluate your strengths and build on them.    • Always keep the larger picture in mind when making a decision.    • Never compromise your integrity.
Shiv Khera (You Can Win: A Step-by-Step Tool for Top Achievers)
You have a picture of life within you, a faith, a challenge, and you were ready for deeds and sufferings and sacrifices, and then you became aware by degrees that the world asked no deeds and no sacrifices of you whatever, and that life is no poem of heroism with heroic parts to play and so on, but a comfortable room where people are quite content with eating and drinking, coffee and knitting, cards and wireless. And whoever wants more and has got it in him--the heroic and the beautiful, and the reverence for the great poets or for the saints--is a fool and a Don Quixote. Good. And it has been just the same for me, my friend. I was a gifted girl. I was meant to live up to a high standard, to expect much of myself and do great things. I could have played a great part. I could have been the wife of a king, the beloved of a revolutionary, the sister of a genius, the mother of a martyr. And life has allowed me just this, to be a courtesan of fairly good taste, and even that has been hard enough. That is how things have gone with me. For a while I was inconsolable and for a long time I put the blame on myself. Life, thought I, must in the end be in the right, and if life scorned my beautiful dreams, so I argued, it was my dreams that were stupid and wrong headed. But that did not help me at all. And as I had good eyes and ears and was a little inquisitive too, I took a good look at this so-called life and at my neighbors and acquaintances, fifty or so of them and their destinies, and then I saw you. And I knew that my dreams had been right a thousand times over, just as yours had been. It was life and reality that were wrong. It was as little right that a woman like me should have no other choice than to grow old in poverty and in a senseless way at a typewriter in the pay of a money-maker, or to marry such a man for his money's sake, or to become some kind of drudge, as for a man like you to be forced in his loneliness and despair to have recourse to a razor. Perhaps the trouble with me was more material and moral and with you more spiritual--but it was the same road. Do you think I can't understand your horror of the fox trot, your dislike of bars and dancing floors, your loathing of jazz and the rest of it? I understand it only too well, and your dislike of politics as well, your despondence over the chatter and irresponsible antics of the parties and the press, your despair over the war, the one that has been and the one that is to be, over all that people nowadays think, read and build, over the music they play, the celebrations they hold, the education they carry on. You are right, Steppenwolf, right a thousand times over, and yet you must go to the wall. You are much too exacting and hungry for this simple, easygoing and easily contented world of today. You have a dimension too many. Whoever wants to live and enjoy his life today must not be like you and me. Whoever wants music instead of noise, joy instead of pleasure, soul instead of gold, creative work instead of business, passion instead of foolery, finds no home in this trivial world of ours--
Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
One of the biggest, most damaging mistakes too many Christians so willingly make is assuming that God is as much of a judgmental jerk as we are. But what if we could make room for difference and space for disagreement in our spiritual communities? What if we could give permission for moral failure and freedom to not be certain, and the chance to gloriously fail without needing those things to become black marks against people or death-penalty offenses? What if we made space for people who are as screwed up as we are?
John Pavlovitz (A Bigger Table: Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community)
When you are an advocate, you're seen as taking the moral high ground, which can cause others to feel morally inferior and defensive for not having made the same choice you did. For this reason, it's important to frame your message as empowering rather than blaming.
Melanie Joy (Strategic Action for Animals: A Handbook on Strategic Movement Building, Organizing, and Activism for Animal Liberation)
Ironically, the biggest obstacle to putting a training program in place is the perception that it will take too much time. Keep in mind that there is no investment that you can make that will do more to improve productivity in your company. Therefore, being too busy to train is the moral equivalent of being too hungry to eat. Furthermore, it’s not that hard to create basic training courses.
Ben Horowitz (The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers)
Jesus never concealed the fact that his religion included a demand as well as an offer. Indeed, the demand was as total as the offer was free. If he offered men his salvation, he also demanded their submission. He gave no encouragement whatever to thoughtless applicants for discipleship. He brought no pressure to bear on any inquirer. He sent irresponsible enthusiasts away empty. Luke tells of three men who either volunteered, or were invited, to follow Jesus; but no one passed the Lord’s test. The rich young ruler, too, moral, earnest and attractive, who wanted eternal life on his own terms, went away sorrowful, with his riches intact but with neither life nor Christ as his possession…The Christian landscape is strewn with the wreckage of derelict, half built towers—the ruins of those who began to build and were unable to finish. For thousands of people still ignore Christ’s warning and undertake to follow him without first pausing to reflect on the cost of doing so. The result is the great scandal of Christendom today, so called “nominal Christianity.” In countries to which Christian civilization has spread, large numbers of people have covered themselves with a decent, but thin, veneer of Christianity. They have allowed themselves to become somewhat involved, enough to be respectable but not enough to be uncomfortable. Their religion is a great, soft cushion. It protects them from the hard unpleasantness of life, while changing its place and shape to suit their convenience. No wonder the cynics speak of hypocrites in the church and dismiss religion as escapism…The message of Jesus was very different. He never lowered his standards or modified his conditions to make his call more readily acceptable. He asked his first disciples, and he has asked every disciple since, to give him their thoughtful and total commitment. Nothing less than this will do
John R.W. Stott (Basic Christianity (IVP Classics))
Religion, by its very nature as an untestable belief in undetectable beings and an unknowable afterlife, disables our reality checks. It ends the conversation. It cuts off inquiry: not only factual inquiry, but moral inquiry. Because God's law trumps human law, people who think they're obeying God can easily get cut off from their own moral instincts. And these moral contortions don't always lie in the realm of theological game-playing. They can have real-world consequences: from genocide to infanticide, from honor killings to abandoned gay children, from burned witches to battered wives to blown-up buildings.
Greta Christina
We criticize Americans for not being able either to analyse or conceptualize. But this is a wrong-headed critique. It is we who imagine that everything culminates in transcendence, and that nothing exists which has not been conceptualized. Not only do they care little for such a view, but their perspective is the very opposite: it is not conceptualizing reality, but realizing concepts and materializing ideas, that interests them. The ideas of the religion and enlightened morality of the eighteenth century certainly, but also dreams, scientific values, and sexual perversions. Materializing freedom, but also the unconscious. Our phantasies around space and fiction, but also our phantasies of sincerity and virtue, or our mad dreams of technicity. Everything that has been dreamt on this side of the Atlantic has a chance of being realized on the other. They build the real out of ideas. We transform the real into ideas, or into ideology.
Jean Baudrillard (America)
[Author's Note:] It took me four years to research and write this novel, so I began long before talk about migrant caravans and building a wall entered the national zeitgeist. But even then I was frustrated by the tenor of the public discourse surrounding immigration in this country. The conversation always seemed to turn around policy issues, to the absolute exclusion of moral or humanitarian concerns. I was appalled at the way Latino migrants, even five years ago - and it has gotten exponentially worse since then - were characterized within that public discourse. At worst, we perceive them as an invading mob of resource-draining criminals, and at best, a sort of helpless, impoverished, faceless brown mass, clamoring for help at our doorstep. We seldom think of them as our fellow human beings. People with the agency to make their own decisions, people who can contribute to their own bright futures, and to ours, as so many generations of oft-reviled immigrants have done before them.
Jeanine Cummins (American Dirt)
Not only to myself or before the mirror or at the hour of my death, which I hope will be long in coming, but in the presence of my children and my wife and in the face of the peaceful life I’m building, I must acknowledge: (1) That under Stalin I wouldn’t have wasted my youth in the gulag or ended up with a bullet in the back of my head. (2) That in the McCarthy era I wouldn’t have lost my job or had to pump gas at a gas station. (3) That under Hitler, however, I would have been one of those who chose the path of exile, and that under Franco I wouldn’t have composed sonnets to the caudillo or the Holy Virgin like so many lifelong democrats. One thing is as true as the other. My bravery has its limits, certainly, but so does what I’m willing to swallow. Everything that begins as comedy ends as tragicomedy.
Roberto Bolaño (The Savage Detectives)
In this way, moral formation is not individual; it is relational. Character is not something you build sitting in a room thinking about the difference between right and wrong and about your own willpower. Character emerges from our commitments. If you want to inculcate character in someone else, teach them how to form commitments—temporary ones in childhood, provisional ones in youth, permanent ones in adulthood. Commitments are the school for moral formation. When your life is defined by fervent commitments, you are on the second mountain.
David Brooks (The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life)
The family which takes its mauve an cerise, air-conditioned, power-steered and power-braked automobile out for a tour passes through cities that are badly paved, made hideous by litter, lighted buildings, billboards and posts for wires that should long since have been put underground. They pass on into countryside that has been rendered largely invisible by commercial art. (The goods which the latter advertise have an absolute priority in our value system. Such aesthetic considerations as a view of the countryside accordingly come second. On such matters we are consistent.) They picnic on exquisitely packaged food from a portable icebox by a polluted stream and go on to spend the night at a park which is a menace to public health and morals. Just before dozing off on an air mattress, beneath a nylon tent, amid the stench of decaying refuse, they may reflect vaguely on the curious unevenness of their blessings. Is this, indeed, the American genius?
John Kenneth Galbraith
Ranger is one of the few civilians in Trenton with a permit to carry concealed. He owns office buildings in Boston, has a daughter in Florida by a failed marriage, has worked worldwide as a mercenary, and has a moral code that isn’t entirely in sync with our legal system. I have no idea who the heck he is . . . but I like him.
Janet Evanovich (Seven Up (Stephanie Plum, #7))
Human social life, I suggest, is the magma that erupts and builds up, so to speak, at the fault lines where natural human capacities meet and grind against and over natural human limitations…. This meeting of powers and limitations produces a creative, dynamic tension and energy that generates and fuels the making of human social life and social structures…. It is real human persons living through the tensions of natural existential contradictions who construct patterned social meanings, interactions, institutions, and structures.
Christian Smith (What Is a Person?: Rethinking Humanity, Social Life, and the Moral Good from the Person Up)
That's the myth of it, the required lie that allows us to render our judgments. Parasites, criminals, dope fiends, dope peddlers, whores--when we can ride past them at Fayette and Monroe, car doors locked, our field of vision cautiously restricted to the road ahead, then the long journey into darkness is underway. Pale-skinned hillbillies and hard-faced yos, toothless white trash and gold-front gangsters--when we can glide on and feel only fear, we're well on the way. And if, after a time, we can glimpse the spectacle of the corner and manage nothing beyond loathing and contempt, then we've arrived at last at that naked place where a man finally sees the sense in stretching razor wire and building barracks and directing cattle cars into the compound. It's a reckoning of another kind, perhaps, and one that becomes a possibility only through the arrogance and certainty that so easily accompanies a well-planned and well-tended life. We know ourselves, we believe in ourselves; from what we value most, we grant ourselves the illusion that it's not chance in circumstance, that opportunity itself isn't the defining issue. We want the high ground; we want our own worth to be acknowledged. Morality, intelligence, values--we want those things measured and counted. We want it to be about Us. Yes, if we were down there, if we were the damned of the American cities, we would not fail. We would rise above the corner. And when we tell ourselves such things, we unthinkably assume that we would be consigned to places like Fayette Street fully equipped, with all the graces and disciplines, talents and training that we now posses. Our parents would still be our parents, our teachers still our teachers, our broker still our broker. Amid the stench of so much defeat and despair, we would kick fate in the teeth and claim our deserved victory. We would escape to live the life we were supposed to live, the life we are living now. We would be saved, and as it always is in matters of salvation, we know this as a matter of perfect, pristine faith. Why? The truth is plain: We were not born to be niggers.
David Simon (The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood)
You were in business making meth? Do you have any idea what that drug does to people?" We weren't givin' it away," Concise snaps. "If someone was fool enough to mess himself up, that was his problem." I shake my head, disgusted. "If you build it, they will come." If you build it," Concise says, "you cover your rent. If you build it, you pay off the loan sharks. If you build it, you put shoes on your kid's feet and food in his belly and maybe even show up every now and then with a toy that every other goddamn kid in the school already has." He looks up at me. "If you build it, maybe your son don't have to, when he grow up." It is amazing -- the secrets you can keep, even when you are living in close quarters. "You didn't tell me." Concise gets up and braces his hands against the upper bunk. "His mama OD'd. He lives with her sister, who can't always be bothered to take care of him. I try to send money so that I know he's eatin' breakfast and gettin' school lunch tickets. I got a little bank account for him, too. Jus' in case he don't want to be part of a street gang, you know? Jus' in case he want to be an astronaut or a football player or somethin'." He digs out a small notebook from his bunk. "I'm writin' him. A diary, like. So he know who his daddy is, by the time he learn to read." It is always easier to judge someone than to figure out what might have pushed him to the point where he might do something illegal or morally reprehensible, because he honestly believes he'll be better off. The police will dismiss Wilton Reynolds as a drug dealer and celebrate one more criminal permanently removed from society. A middle-class father who meets Concise on the street, with his tough talk and his shaved head, will steer clear of him, never guessing that he, to, has a little boy waiting for him at home. The people who read about me in the paper, stealing my daughter during a custody visit, will assume I am the worst sort of nightmare.
Jodi Picoult (Vanishing Acts)
Seasoning one’s claims with self-irony and modesty, cultivating a tolerance for moral ambiguity, periodically practicing normative reticence, building up a resistance to the pleasure of purity, minding your own business, doing what you can to forget to wreak vengeance, defending negative freedom even if there is no such thing, and playing around are the best you can do. But that’s quite a lot.
Jane Bennett (The Politics of Moralizing)
There is no doubt, in my opinion, that unless you change your social order you can achieve little by way of progress. You cannot mobilize the community either for defence or for offence. You cannot build anything on the foundations of caste. You cannot build up a nation, you cannot build up a morality. Anything that you will build on the foundations of caste will crack and will never be a whole.
B.R. Ambedkar (Annihilation Of Caste)
President Josiah Bartlet: Good. I like your show. I like how you call homosexuality an abomination. Dr. Jenna Jacobs: I don't say homosexuality is an abomination, Mr. President. The Bible does. President Josiah Bartlet: Yes, it does. Leviticus. Dr. Jenna Jacobs: 18:22. President Josiah Bartlet: Chapter and verse. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I had you here. I'm interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She's a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? While thinking about that, can I ask another? My Chief of Staff Leo McGarry insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or is it okay to call the police? Here's one that's really important 'cause we've got a lot of sports fans in this town: Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads? Think about those questions, would you? One last thing: While you may be mistaking this for your monthly meeting of the Ignorant Tight-Ass Club, in this building, when the President stands, nobody sits.
Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing Script Book)
Secular society has been unfairly impoverished by the loss of an array of practices and themes which atheists typically find it impossible to live with because they seem too closely associated with, to quote Nietzsche’s useful phrase, ‘the bad odours of religion’. We have grown frightened of the word morality. We bridle at the thought of hearing a sermon. We flee from the idea that art should be uplifting or have an ethical mission. We don’t go on pilgrimages. We can’t build temples. We have no mechanisms for expressing gratitude. Strangers rarely sing together. We are presented with an unpleasant choice between either committing to peculiar concepts about immaterial deities or letting go entirely of a host of consoling, subtle or just charming rituals for which we struggle to find equivalents in secular society.
Alain de Botton (Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion)
HOW TO CHOOSE A GREAT LEADER Choose a leader who will invest in Building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance. Stability, not fear and terror. Peace, not chaos. Love, not hate. Convergence, not segregation. Tolerance, not discrimination. Fairness, not hypocrisy. Substance, not superficiality. Character, not immaturity. Transparency, not secrecy. Justice, not lawlessness. Environmental improvement and preservation, not destruction. Truth, not lies.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Angels and demons, heaven and hell, God, morality, law and language. It’s all metaphor. Scaffolding to handle the areas where base reality won’t cut it for you guys, where it’s too cold for humans to live without something made up. We codify our hopes and fears and wants, and then build whole societies on the code. And then forget it ever was code and treat it like fact. Act like the universe gives a shit about it. Go to war over it, string men and women up by the neck for it. Firebomb trains and skyscrapers in the name of it.
Richard K. Morgan (Thirteen)
Across the centuries the moral systems from medival chivalry to Bruce Springsteen love anthems have worked the same basic way. They take immediate selfish interests and enmesh them within transcendent, spiritual meanings. Love becomes a holy cause, an act of self-sacrifice and selfless commitment. But texting and the utilitarian mind-set are naturally corrosive toward poetry and imagination. A coat of ironic detachment is required for anyone who hopes to withstand the brutal feedback of the marketplace. In today's world, the choice of a Prius can be a more sanctified act than the choice of an erotic partner. This does not mean that young people today are worse or shallower than young people in the past. It does mean they get less help. People once lived within a pattern of being, which educated the emotions, guided the temporary toward the permanent and linked everyday urges to higher things. The accumulated wisdom of the community steered couples as they tried to earn each other's commitment. Today there are fewer norms that guide that way. Today's technology seems to threaten the sort of recurring and stable reciprocity that is the building block of trust.
David Brooks
Humans love to make things complicated. Look at belief. They build whole morality and judgment systems on it—who believes what, believes in the right way, believes strongly enough. It’s so unnecessary. Belief, when you get right down to it, is just a powerful story. Tell a story well, and the reader doesn’t just want it to be true—they know it is. Get enough souls to believe in a story, and you can change the world. Or make one.
A.J. Hackwith (The God of Lost Words (Hell's Library #3))
I fantasize about killing people all the time. I think about how easy it would be. What if I just started showing up to Kitan rallies with an I-beam? Knock down the capitol building, force them to pass Universal Health Care, stuff aevery Ayn Rand fanatic into a big mason jar and hurl them into the sun. I could do it, you know. I really could. And then there's these people with their fucking sneers going 'You're a monster! You're a thug! You kill people!' No fucking shit I kill people!! I put holes in mountains! I break shit constantly without even trying! I saved the world on no less than seven fucking occasions, and guess what, super-accuracy is not one of my anomalies! Am I supposed to be impressed that you've never killed anybody? What a bold moral choice from a person who's terrified of violence and scared shitless of going to jail! It's like, have you ever had the option of murdering a bunch of people!? Okay, then why the fuck am I listening to your opinion on the matter!? Every day I don't kill a thousand fucking people, they should throw me a god-damned tickertape parade!
Brennan Lee Mulligan (Strong Female Protagonist: Book One)
...when President Clinton, on the anniversary of his election, spoke in the church in Tennessee where Martin Luther King, Jr., had delivered his last sermon. Inspired by the place and the occasion, he made one of the most eloquent speeches of his presidency. What would King have said, he asked, had he lived to see this day? "He would say, I did not live and die to see the American family destroyed. I did not live and die to see thirteen-year-old boys get automatic weapons and gun down nine-year-olds just for the kick of it. I did not live and die to see young people destroy their lives with drugs and then build fortunes destroying the lives of others. This is not what I came here to do. I fought for freedom, he would say, but not for the freedom of people to kill each other with reckless abandon; not for the freedom of children to have children and the fathers of the children walk away from them and abandon them as if they don't amount to anything. I fought for people to have the right to work, but not have whole communities and people abandoned. This is not what I lived and died for." After describing what his administration was doing to curb drugs and violence, the President concluded that the government alone could not do the job. The problem was caused by "the breakdown of the family, the community and the disappearance of jobs," and unless we "reach deep inside to the values, the spirit, the soul and the truth of human nature, none of the other things we seek to do will ever take us where we need to go.
Gertrude Himmelfarb (The De-moralization Of Society: From Victorian Virtues to Modern Values)
We meet in the midst of a nation brought to the verge of moral, political, and material ruin. Corruption dominates the ballot-box, the Legislatures, the Congress…. The people are demoralized; The newspapers are largely subsidized or muzzled, public opinion silenced, business prostrated, homes covered with mortgages, labor impoverished…. The fruits of the toil of millions are badly stolen to build up colossal fortunes for a few, unprecedented in the history of mankind; and the possessors of these, in turn, despise the Republic and endanger liberty. From the same prolific womb of governmental injustice we breed the two great classes—tramps and millionaires.
Ignatius L. Donnelly
Your story is not a picture of life; it lacks the elements of truth. And why? Simply because you run straight on to the end; because you do not analyze. Your heroes do this thing or that from this or that motive, which you assign without ever a thought of dissecting their mental and moral natures. Our feelings, you must remember, are far more complex than all that. In real life every act is the resultant of a hundred thoughts that come and go, and these you must study, each by itself, if you would create a living character. 'But,' you will say, 'in order to note these fleeting thoughts one must know them, must be able to follow them in their capricious meanderings.You have simply to make use of hypnotism, electrical or human, which gives one a two-fold being, setting free the witness-personality so that it may see, understand, and remember the reasons which determine the personality that acts.
Jules Verne (In the Year 2889)
And besides, in the matter of friendship, I have observed that the disappointment here arises chiefly, not from liking our friends too well, or thinking of them too highly, but rather from an over-estimate of their liking for and opinion of us; and that if we guard ourselves with sufficient scrupulousness of care from error in this direction, and can be content, and even happy to give more affection than we receive -- can make just comparison of circumstances, and be severely accurate in drawing inferences thence, and never let self-love blind our eyes -- I think we may manage to get through life with consistency and constancy, unembittered by that misanthropy which springs from revulsions of feeling. All this sounds a little metaphysical, but it is good sense of if you consider it. The moral of it is, that if we would build on a sure foundation in friendship, we must love our friends for their sakes rather than for our own; we must look at their truth to themselves, full as much as their truth to us. In the latter case, every wound to self-love would be a cause of coldness; in the former, only some painful change in the friend's character and disposition -- some fearful breach in his allegiance to his better self -- could alienate the heart.
Elizabeth Gaskell (The Life of Charlotte Brontë)
Taking architecture seriously therefore makes some singular strenuous demands upon us. It requires that we open ourselves to the idea that we are affected by our surroundings even when they are made of vinyl and would be expensive and time-consuming to ameliorate. It means conceding that we are inconveniently vulnerable to the color of our wallpaper and that our sense of purpose may be derailed by an unfortunate bedspread. At the same time, it means acknowledging that buildings are able to solve no more than a fraction of our dissatisfactions or prevent evil from unfolding under their watch. Architecture, even at its most accomplished, will only ever constitute a small, and imperfect (expensive, prone to destruction, and morally unreliable), protest against the state of things. More awkwardly still, architecture asks us to imagine that happiness might often have an unostentatious, unheroic character to it, that it might be found in a run of old floorboards or in a wash of morning light over a plaster wall—in undramatic, frangible scenes of beauty that move us because we are aware of the darker backdrop against which they are set.
Alain de Botton (The Architecture of Happiness)
What is needed most in architecture today is the very thing that is most needed in life- Integrity. Just as it is in a human being, so integrity is the deepest quality in a building...if we succeed, we will have done a great service to our moral nature- the psyche- of our democratic society...Stand up for integrity in your building and you stand for integrity not only in the life of those who did the building but socially a reciprocal relationship is inevitable.
Frank Lloyd Wright
That's the thing about war: it's never enough to disable the buildings, to blow holes into their middles; instead, they're hit over and over again, as if to pound them to dust, to disintegrate them, to remove them from the earth, to deny that families ever lived in them. But people did live there. And they needed to return, even though there was nothing left to return to except forbidding piles of broken concrete and cable wires sticking out of the heaps like markers of malevolence.
Izzeldin Abuelaish (I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity)
From Moses to Jesus, the Bible tells us that those who fought for justice—those who spoke truth to power, those who refused to accept that injustice and inequality had to exist and that there was no better way—always found themselves hated, hounded, and heaped upon with false accusations simply because they believed in the necessity of speaking and working for the cause of righteousness and building a more just community. This lack of majority support is why the just must live by faith and must know exactly who we are.
William J. Barber II (Forward Together: A Moral Message for the Nation)
Men have gone on to build up vast intellectual schemes, philosophies, and theologies, to prove that ideals are not real as ideals but as antecedently existing actualities. They have failed to see that in converting moral realities into matters of intellectual assent they have evinced lack of moral faith. Faith that something should be in existence as far as lies in our power is changed into the intellectual belief that it is already in existence. When physical existence does not bear out the assertion, the physical is subtly changed into the metaphysical. In this way, moral faith has been inextricably tied up with intellectual beliefs about the supernatural.
John Dewey (A Common Faith (The Terry Lectures Series))
We not only do not believe that man is punished for his 'sins,' but emphatically state that there is no such thing as sin. There are wrongs and injustices, but no sin. Sin, like purgatory and hell, was invented by priests, first to frighten, and then to rob the living. We do not fear these myths and curses, and that is why we devote our time and energies to help our fellow man. That is why we build educational institutions and seek, by a slow and painful process, to teach man the true nature of the universe and a proper understanding of his place as a member in society. At the same time we try to fortify his mind with courage to withstand the rebuffs, the trials and tribulations of life. That it is a difficult and arduous task no one can deny because we cannot correct all of 'God's mistakes' in one life time. As Ingersoll so succinctly states: 'Nature cannot pardon.' Remember this: You are not a depraved human being. You have no sins to atone for. There is no need for fear. There are no ghosts—holy or otherwise. Stop making yourself miserable for 'the love of God.' Drive this monster of tyrannic fear from your mind, and enjoy the inestimable freedom of an emancipated human being.
Joseph Lewis (An Atheist Manifesto)
Veganism is critical to the next stage of human evolution. Slaughtering animals and eating their dead carcasses is both uncivilized and disgusting. How do we expect to be a multi planet species sailing the galaxy and building cities on new planets if we haven’t even grown out of the barbaric practice of killing sentient beings and eating their flesh? As higher level beings, humans should be optimizing our stewardship of earth, our utilization of plants and our nurturing of life. Being vegan is about health, morality, and the evolution of humanity.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr. (Principles of a Permaculture Economy)
1. Myth: Without God, life has no meaning. There are 1.2 billion Chinese who have no predominant religion, and 1 billion people in India who are predominantly Hindu. And 65% of Japan's 127 million people claim to be non-believers. It is laughable to suggest that none of these billions of people are leading meaningful lives. 2. Myth: Prayer works. Studies have now shown that inter-cessionary prayer has no effect whatsoever of the health or well-being of the subject. 3. Myth: Atheists are immoral. There are hundreds of millions of non-believers on the planet living normal, decent, moral lives. They love their children, care about others, obey laws, and try to keep from doing harm to others just like everyone else. In fact, in predominantly non-believing countries such as in northern Europe, measures of societal health such as life expectancy at birth, adult literacy, per capita income, education, homicide, suicide, gender equality, and political coercion are better than they are in believing societies. 4. Myth: Belief in God is compatible with science. In the past, every supernatural or paranormal explanation of phenomena that humans believed turned out to be mistaken; science has always found a physical explanation that revealed that the supernatural view was a myth. Modern organisms evolved from lower life forms, they weren't created 6,000 years ago in the finished state. Fever is not caused by demon possession. Bad weather is not the wrath of angry gods. Miracle claims have turned out to be mistakes, frauds, or deceptions. We have every reason to conclude that science will continue to undermine the superstitious worldview of religion. 5. Myth: We have immortal souls that survive death. We have mountains of evidence that makes it clear that our consciousness, our beliefs, our desires, our thoughts all depend upon the proper functioning of our brains our nervous systems to exist. So when the brain dies, all of these things that we identify with the soul also cease to exist. Despite the fact that billions of people have lived and died on this planet, we do not have a single credible case of someone's soul, or consciousness, or personality continuing to exist despite the demise of their bodies. 6. Myth: If there is no God, everything is permitted. Consider the billions of people in China, India, and Japan above. If this claim was true, none of them would be decent moral people. So Ghandi, the Buddha, and Confucius, to name only a few were not moral people on this view. 7. Myth: Believing in God is not a cause of evil. The examples of cases where it was someone's belief in God that was the justification for their evils on humankind are too numerous to mention. 8. Myth: God explains the origins of the universe. All of the questions that allegedly plague non-God attempts to explain our origins still apply to the faux explanation of God. The suggestion that God created everything does not make it any clearer to us where it all came from, how he created it, why he created it, where it is all going. In fact, it raises even more difficult mysteries: how did God, operating outside the confines of space, time, and natural law 'create' or 'build' a universe that has physical laws? We have no precedent and maybe no hope of answering or understanding such a possibility. What does it mean to say that some disembodied, spiritual being who knows everything and has all power, 'loves' us, or has thoughts, or goals, or plans? 9. Myth: There's no harm in believing in God. Religious views inform voting, how they raise their children, what they think is moral and immoral, what laws and legislation they pass, who they are friends and enemies with, what companies they invest in, where they donate to charities, who they approve and disapprove of, who they are willing to kill or tolerate, what crimes they are willing to commit, and which wars they are willing to fight.
Matthew S. McCormick
A person who tries to treat life as if it were an extension of school often becomes what the Danish novelist Matias Dalsgaard calls an “insecure overachiever”: “Such a person must have no stable or solid foundation to build upon, and yet nonetheless tries to build his way out of his problem. It’s an impossible situation. You can’t compensate for having a foundation made of quicksand by building a new story on top. But this person takes no notice and hopes that the problem down in the foundation won’t be found out if only the construction work on the top keeps going.
David Brooks (The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life)
We can very easily see how parents in other cultures simply repeat cultural norms to their children as if those cultural norms were objective truth. Japanese parents teach their children obedience and filial piety; Catholic parents teach their children to drink the blood of their god; Muslim parents teach their children that a man who married a six-year-old girl – and consummated that marriage when she was nine – is the paragon of moral virtue; Western parents teach their children that democracy is the highest ideal; North Korean parents teach their children that the dictator who rules their lives is a sort of secular deity who loves them. The list goes on and on. Virtually every parent in the world believes that she is teaching her child the truth, when she is merely inflicting what may be politely called cultural mythologies on her child. We lie to our children, all the while telling them that lying is wrong. We command our children to think for themselves, all the while repeating the most prejudicial absurdities as if they were objective facts. We tell our children to be good, but we have no idea what goodness really is. We tell our children that conformity is wrong (“If everyone jumped off the Empire State building, would you jump too?”) but at the same time we are complete slaves to the historical inertia of prior prejudices.
Stefan Molyneux (On Truth: The Tyranny of Illusion)
Whether it’s the growth of the economy, audience shares, publications – slowly but surely, quality is being replaced by quantity. ... And driving it all is a force sometimes called “liberalism,” an ideology that has been all but hollowed out. ... Freedom may be our highest ideal, but ours has become an empty freedom. Our fear of moralizing in any form has made morality a taboo in the public debate. The public arena should be “neutral,” after all – yet never before has it been so paternalistic. On every street corner we’re baited to booze, binge, borrow, buy, toil, stress, and swindle. Whatever we may tell ourselves about freedom of speech, our values are suspiciously close to those touted by precisely the companies that can pay for prime-time advertising.
Rutger Bregman (Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World)
I think I should learn to get along better with people," he explained to Miss Benson one day, when she came upon him in the corridor of the literature building and asked what he was doing wearing a fraternity pledge pin (wearing it on the chest of the new V-neck pullover in which his mother said he looked so collegiate). Miss Benson's response to his proposed scheme for self-improvement was at once so profound and so simply put that Zuckerman went around for days repeating the simple interrogative sentence to himself; like Of Times and the River, it verified something he had known in his bones all along, but in which he could not placed his faith until it had been articulated by someone of indisputable moral prestige and purity : "Why," Caroline Benson asked the seventeen-year-old boy, "should you want to learn a thing like that?
Philip Roth (My Life as a Man)
The fundamental error of socialism is anthropological in nature. Socialism considers the individual person simply as an element, a molecule within the social organism, so that the good of the individual is completely subordinated to the functioning of the socio-economic mechanism. Socialism likewise maintains that the good of the individual can be realized without reference to his free choice, to the unique and exclusive responsibility which he exercises in the face of good or evil. Man is thus reduced to a series of social relationships, and the concept of the person as the autonomous subject of moral decision disappears, the very subject whose decisions build the social order. From this mistaken conception of the person there arise both a distortion of law, which defines the sphere of the exercise of freedom, and an opposition to private property. A person who is deprived of something he can call “his own,” and of the possibility of earning a living through his own initiative, comes to depend on the social machine and on those who control it. This makes it much more difficult for him to recognize his dignity as a person, and hinders progress towards the building up of an authentic human community.
Pope John Paul II
Women have been so thoroughly oppressed that they have accepted unconsciously the role that the ruling sex, man, gave to them. They have even believed in male propaganda, which is very much the same as the propaganda in other wars, wars against colonial people, etc. Women have been considered to be naive: Freud said that they were narcissistic, unrealistic, cowardly, inferior to man anatomically, intellectually, morally. The fact is that women are less narcissistic than men, for the simple reason that there is almost nothing that man does which has not some purpose of making an impression. Women do many, many things without this motive and in fact what you might call women's vanity is only the necessity to please the victors. As far as the lack of realism in women is concerned, what should we say about male realism in an epoch in which all western governments, consisting of men, are spending their money building atomic bombs, instead of taking care of threatening famine, instead of avoiding the catastrophes which threaten the whole world...
Erich Fromm
What is so often said about the solders of the 20th century is that they fought to make us free. Which is a wonderful sentiment and one witch should evoke tremendous gratitude if in fact there was a shred of truth in that statement but, it's not true. It's not even close to true in fact it's the opposite of truth. There's this myth around that people believe that the way to honor deaths of so many of millions of people; that the way to honor is to say that we achieved some tangible, positive, good, out of their death's. That's how we are supposed to honor their deaths. We can try and rescue some positive and forward momentum of human progress, of human virtue from these hundreds of millions of death's but we don't do it by pretending that they'd died to set us free because we are less free; far less free now then we were before these slaughters began. These people did not die to set us free. They did not die fighting any enemy other than the ones that the previous deaths created. The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper names. Solders are paid killers, and I say this with a great degree of sympathy to young men and women who are suckered into a life of evil through propaganda and the labeling of heroic to a man in costume who kills for money and the life of honor is accepting ordered killings for money, prestige, and pensions. We create the possibility of moral choice by communicating truth about ethics to people. That to me is where real heroism and real respect for the dead lies. Real respect for the dead lies in exhuming the corpses and hearing what they would say if they could speak out; and they would say: If any ask us why we died tell it's because our fathers lied, tell them it's because we were told that charging up a hill and slaughtering our fellow man was heroic, noble, and honorable. But these hundreds of millions of ghosts encircled the world in agony, remorse will not be released from our collective unconscious until we lay the truth of their murders on the table and look at the horror that is the lie; that murder for money can be moral, that murder for prestige can be moral. These poor young men and woman propagandized into an undead ethical status lied to about what is noble, virtuous, courageous, honorable, decent, and good to the point that they're rolling hand grenades into children's rooms and the illusion that, that is going to make the world a better place. We have to stare this in the face if we want to remember why these people died. They did not die to set us free. They did not die to make the world a better place. They died because we are ruled by sociopaths. The only thing that can create a better world is the truth is the virtue is the honor and courage of standing up to the genocidal lies of mankind and calling them lies and ultimate corruptions. The trauma and horrors of this century of staggering bloodshed of the brief respite of the 19th century. This addiction to blood and the idea that if we pour more bodies into the hole of the mass graves of the 20th century, if we pour more bodies and more blood we can build some sort of cathedral to a better place but it doesn't happen. We can throw as many young men and woman as we want into this pit of slaughter and it will never be full. It will never do anything other than sink and recede further into the depths of hell. We can’t build a better world on bodies. We can’t build peace on blood. If we don't look back and see the army of the dead of the 20th century calling out for us to see that they died to enslave us. That whenever there was a war the government grew and grew. We are so addicted to this lie. What we need to do is remember that these bodies bury us. This ocean of blood that we create through the fantasy that violence brings virtue. It drowns us, drowns our children, our future, and the world. When we pour these endless young bodies into this pit of death; we follow it.
Stefan Molyneux
Life is a series of problems to be analyzed and addressed. How do we fix our failing schools? How do we reduce violence? These problem-centered questions are usually the wrong ones to ask. They focus on deficits, not gifts. A problem conversation tends to focus on one moment in time—the moment when a student didn’t graduate from high school, the moment when a young person commits a crime, the moment when a person is homeless. But actual lives are lived cumulatively. It takes a whole series of shocks before a person becomes homeless—loss of a job, breakdown in family relationship, maybe car problems or some transportation issue. It takes a whole series of shocks before a kid drops out of school. If you abstract away from the cumulative nature of life and define the problem as one episode, you are abstracting away from how life is lived. All conversations are either humanizing or dehumanizing, and problem-centered conversations tend to be impersonal and dehumanizing. The better community-building conversations focus on possibilities, not problems. They are questions such as, What crossroads do we stand at right now? What can we build together? How can we improve our lives together? What talents do we have here that haven’t been fully expressed?
David Brooks (The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life)
War -- is a last ditch moral nightmare. People begin worshiping a mysterious slouching beast, following after, bowing down, offering gifts, making much of zero; and worse. Love of death, idolatry, fear of life; that roughshod trek of war and warmakers throughout the world, hand in hand with death. Long live death! They wouldn't worship it if they weren't in love. Or if they weren't in fear. The second being a state of devouring, at least, as the first. I think the clue is the second masquerading as the first -- just as the beast is the ape of god; to do some thing successfully, you have to, above all, hide what your up to. In this way fear can ape love. Death can demand a tribute owed to life, the ape can play God. Such reflections are of course ill at ease by some: those to whom the state is a given, the church is a given, Western culture a given, war a given, consumerism a given, paying taxes a given. All the neat slots of existence into which one fits, birth to death and every point in between. Nothing to be created, no one to be responsible to, nothing to risk, no objections to lodge. Life is a mechanical horizontal sidewalk, of the kind you sometimes ride at airports between buildings. One is carried along, a zonked spectator... Every nation-state tends towards the imperial -- that is the point. Through banks, armies, secret police propaganda courts and jails, treaties, taxes, laws and orders, myths of civil obedience, assumptions of civic virtue at the top. Still it should be said of the political left, we expect something better. And correctly. We put more trust in those who show a measure of compassion, who denounce the hideous social arrangements that make war inevitable and human desire omnipresent; which fosters corporate selfishness, panders to appetites and disorder, waste the earth.
Daniel Berrigan
New Rule: America must stop bragging it's the greatest country on earth, and start acting like it. I know this is uncomfortable for the "faith over facts" crowd, but the greatness of a country can, to a large degree, be measured. Here are some numbers. Infant mortality rate: America ranks forty-eighth in the world. Overall health: seventy-second. Freedom of the press: forty-fourth. Literacy: fifty-fifth. Do you realize there are twelve-year old kids in this country who can't spell the name of the teacher they're having sex with? America has done many great things. Making the New World democratic. The Marshall Plan. Curing polio. Beating Hitler. The deep-fried Twinkie. But what have we done for us lately? We're not the freest country. That would be Holland, where you can smoke hash in church and Janet Jackson's nipple is on their flag. And sadly, we're no longer a country that can get things done. Not big things. Like building a tunnel under Boston, or running a war with competence. We had six years to fix the voting machines; couldn't get that done. The FBI is just now getting e-mail. Prop 87 out here in California is about lessening our dependence on oil by using alternative fuels, and Bill Clinton comes on at the end of the ad and says, "If Brazil can do it, America can, too!" Since when did America have to buck itself up by saying we could catch up to Brazil? We invented the airplane and the lightbulb, they invented the bikini wax, and now they're ahead? In most of the industrialized world, nearly everyone has health care and hardly anyone doubts evolution--and yes, having to live amid so many superstitious dimwits is also something that affects quality of life. It's why America isn't gonna be the country that gets the inevitable patents in stem cell cures, because Jesus thinks it's too close to cloning. Oh, and did I mention we owe China a trillion dollars? We owe everybody money. America is a debtor nation to Mexico. We're not a bridge to the twenty-first century, we're on a bus to Atlantic City with a roll of quarters. And this is why it bugs me that so many people talk like it's 1955 and we're still number one in everything. We're not, and I take no glee in saying that, because I love my country, and I wish we were, but when you're number fifty-five in this category, and ninety-two in that one, you look a little silly waving the big foam "number one" finger. As long as we believe being "the greatest country in the world" is a birthright, we'll keep coasting on the achievements of earlier generations, and we'll keep losing the moral high ground. Because we may not be the biggest, or the healthiest, or the best educated, but we always did have one thing no other place did: We knew soccer was bullshit. And also we had the Bill of Rights. A great nation doesn't torture people or make them disappear without a trial. Bush keeps saying the terrorist "hate us for our freedom,"" and he's working damn hard to see that pretty soon that won't be a problem.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
We meet in the midst of a nation brought to the verge of moral, political and material ruin. Corruption dominates the ballot box, the legislatures, the Congress, and touches even the ermine of the bench. The people are demoralized. . . . The newspapers are subsidized or muzzled; public opinion silenced; business prostrate, our homes covered with mortgages, labor impoverished, and the land concentrating in the hands of capitalists. The urban workmen are denied the right of organization for self-protection; imported pauperized labor beats down their wages; a hireling standing army . . . established to shoot them down. . . . The fruits of the toil of millions are boldly stolen to build up colossal fortunes. . . . From the same prolific womb of governmental injustice we breed two classes—paupers and millionaires. . . .
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
Do I feel empathy for Trump voters? That’s a question I’ve asked myself a lot. It’s complicated. It’s relatively easy to empathize with hardworking, warmhearted people who decided they couldn’t in good conscience vote for me after reading that letter from Jim Comey . . . or who don’t think any party should control the White House for more than eight years at a time . . . or who have a deeply held belief in limited government, or an overriding moral objection to abortion. I also feel sympathy for people who believed Trump’s promises and are now terrified that he’s trying to take away their health care, not make it better, and cut taxes for the superrich, not invest in infrastructure. I get it. But I have no tolerance for intolerance. None. Bullying disgusts me. I look at the people at Trump’s rallies, cheering for his hateful rants, and I wonder: Where’s their empathy and understanding? Why are they allowed to close their hearts to the striving immigrant father and the grieving black mother, or the LGBT teenager who’s bullied at school and thinking of suicide? Why doesn’t the press write think pieces about Trump voters trying to understand why most Americans rejected their candidate? Why is the burden of opening our hearts only on half the country? And yet I’ve come to believe that for me personally and for our country generally, we have no choice but to try. In the spring of 2017, Pope Francis gave a TED Talk. Yes, a TED Talk. It was amazing. This is the same pope whom Donald Trump attacked on Twitter during the campaign. He called for a “revolution of tenderness.” What a phrase! He said, “We all need each other, none of us is an island, an autonomous and independent ‘I,’ separated from the other, and we can only build the future by standing together, including everyone.” He said that tenderness “means to use our eyes to see the other, our ears to hear the other, to listen to the children, the poor, those who are afraid of the future.
Hillary Rodham Clinton (What Happened)
Contemporary attitudes toward urban parks fall into three levels of sophistication. The first, the most naive assumption, is that parks are just plots of land preserved in their original state. If asked to discuss the issue at all, many laymen have maintained this much, that parks are bits of nature created only in the sense that some decision was made not to build on the land. Many are surprised to learn that parks that an artifact conceived and deliberated as carefully as public buildings, with both physical shape and social usage taken into account. The second, a little more informed, is that parks are aesthetic objects and that their history can be understood in terms of an evolution of artistic styles independent of societal considerations. The third is the view that each of the elements of the urban park represents part of planners' strategy for moral and social reform, so that today, as in the past, the citizen visiting a park is subject to an accumulated set of intended moral lessons.
Galen Cranz (The Politics of Park Design: A History of Urban Parks in America)
I no longer believe that character formation is mostly an individual task, or is achieved on a person-by-person basis. I no longer believe that character building is like going to the gym: You do your exercises and you build up your honesty, courage, integrity, and grit. I now think good character is a by-product of giving yourself away. You love things that are worthy of love. You surrender to a community or cause, make promises to other people, build a thick jungle of loving attachments, lose yourself in the daily act of serving others as they lose themselves in the daily acts of serving you. Character is a good thing to have, and there’s a lot to be learned on the road to character. But there’s a better thing to have—moral joy. And that serenity arrives as you come closer to embodying perfect love. Furthermore, I no longer believe that the cultural and moral structures of our society are fine, and all we have to do is fix ourselves individually. Over the past few years, as a result of personal, national, and global events, I have become radicalized. I now think the rampant individualism of our current culture is a catastrophe. The emphasis on self—individual success, self-fulfillment, individual freedom, self-actualization—is a catastrophe. I now think that living a good life requires a much vaster transformation. It’s not enough to work on your own weaknesses. The whole cultural paradigm has to shift from the mindset of hyper-individualism to the relational mindset of the second mountain.
David Brooks
When live entertainment was not available, women delivered the film and ran the projectors for the hundreds of movies that were shown to the soldiers. Frances witnessed the popularity of movies time after time; they were shown in warehouses, airplane hangars, on battered portable screens, or projected against the wall of a building in the village square where townsfolk crammed in around the soldiers. “Charlie and Doug” were the two favorites, but anything showing familiar sights from home—the Statue of Liberty, a Chicago department store, or San Francisco’s Golden Gate—created a sensation and bolstered morale. Toward the end of the war German propaganda films left behind by the retreating army became a prime attraction.30 Frances traveled to and from Paris for a few days at a time, usually arriving on or near the front after a battle to witness doctors and nurses doing what they could for the injured in the shattered villages and burying the dead. She was struck by how thoroughly exhausted the Europeans were after four devastating years of war.
Cari Beauchamp (Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood)
The late 1920s were an age of islands, real and metaphorical. They were an age when Americans by thousands and tens of thousands were scheming to take the next boat for the South Seas or the West Indies, or better still for Paris, from which they could scatter to Majorca, Corsica, Capri or the isles of Greece. Paris itself was a modern city that seemed islanded in the past, and there were island countries, like Mexico, where Americans could feel that they had escaped from everything that oppressed them in a business civilization. Or without leaving home they could build themselves private islands of art or philosophy; or else - and this was a frequent solution - they could create social islands in the shadow of the skyscrapers, groups of close friends among whom they could live as unconstrainedly as in a Polynesian valley, live without moral scruples or modern conveniences, live in the pure moment, live gaily on gin and love and two lamb chops broiled over a coal fire in the grate. That was part of the Greenwich Village idea, and soon it was being copied in Boston, San Francisco, everywhere.
Malcolm Cowley (Exile's Return: A Literary Odyssey of the 1920s)
The abyss that divides the two modalities of experience — sacred and profane — will be apparent when we come to describe sacred space and the ritual building of the human habitation, or the varieties of the religious experience of time, or the relations of religious man to nature and the world of tools, or the consecration of human life itself, the sacrality with which man’s vital functions (food, sex, work and so on) can be charged. Simply calling to mind what the city or the house, nature, tools, or work have become for modern and nonreligious man will show with the utmost vividness all that distinguishes such a man from a man belonging to any archaic society, or even form a peasant of Christian Europe. For modern consciousness, a physiological act — eating, sex, and so on — is in sum only an organic phenomenon, however much it may still be encumbered by tabus (imposing, for example, particular rules for "eating properly" or forbidding some sexual behavior disapproved by social morality). But for the primitive, such an act is never simply physiological; it is , or can become, a sacrament, that is, a communion with the sacred.
Mircea Eliade (The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion)
It was women’s individual experiences of victimization that produced our widespread moral and political opposition to it. And at the same time, there was something about the hashtag itself—its design, and the ways of thinking that it affirms and solidifies—that both erased the variety of women’s experiences and made it seem as if the crux of feminism was this articulation of vulnerability itself. A hashtag is specifically designed to remove a statement from context and to position it as part of an enormous singular thought. A woman participating in one of these hashtags becomes visible at an inherently predictable moment of male aggression: the time her boss jumped her, or the night a stranger followed her home. The rest of her life, which is usually far less predictable, remains unseen. Even as women have attempted to use #YesAllWomen and #MeToo to regain control of a narrative, these hashtags have at least partially reified the thing they’re trying to eradicate: the way that womanhood can feel like a story of loss of control. They have made feminist solidarity and shared vulnerability seem inextricable, as if we were incapable of building solidarity around anything else. What we have in common is obviously essential, but it’s the differences between women’s stories—the factors that allow some to survive, and force others under—that illuminate the vectors that lead to a better world. And, because there is no room or requirement in a tweet to add a disclaimer about individual experience, and because hashtags subtly equate disconnected statements in a way that can’t be controlled by those speaking, it has been even easier for #MeToo critics to claim that women must themselves think that going on a bad date is the same as being violently raped.
Jia Tolentino (Trick Mirror)
Why should you desire to compel others; why should you seek to have power— that evil, bitter, mocking thing, which has been from of old, as it is today, the sorrow and curse of the world—over your fellow-men and fellow-women? Why should you desire to take from any man or woman their own will and intelligence, their free choice, their own self-guidance, their inalienable rights over themselves; why should you desire to make of them mere tools and instruments for your own advantage and interest; why should you desire to compel them to serve and follow your opinions instead of their own; why should you deny in them the soul—that suffers so deeply from all constraint—and treat them as a sheet of blank paper upon which you may write your own will and desires, of whatever kind they may happen to be? Who gave you the right, from where do you pretend to have received it, to degrade other men and women from their own true rank as human beings, taking from them their will, their conscience, and intelligence—in a word, all the best and highest part of their nature—turning them into mere empty worthless shells, mere shadows of the true man and women, mere counters in the game you are mad enough to play, and just because you are more numerous or stronger than they, to treat them as if they belonged not to themselves, but to you? Can you believe that good will ever come by morally and spiritually degrading your fellow-men? What happy and safe and permanent form of society can you hope to build on this pitiful plan of subjecting others, or being yourselves subjected by them?
Auberon Herbert
Strive to do small things well. Be a doer and a self-starter—aggressiveness and initiative are two most admired qualities in a leader—but you must also put your feet up and think. Strive for self-improvement through constant self-evaluation. Never be satisfied. Ask of any project, How can it be done better? Don’t overinspect or oversupervise. Allow your leaders to make mistakes in training, so they can profit from the errors and not make them in combat. Keep the troops informed; telling them “what, how, and why” builds their confidence. The harder the training, the more troops will brag. Enthusiasm, fairness, and moral and physical courage—four of the most important aspects of leadership. Showmanship—a vital technique of leadership. The ability to speak and write well—two essential tools of leadership. There is a salient difference between profanity and obscenity; while a leader employs profanity (tempered with discretion), he never uses obscenities. Have consideration for others. Yelling detracts from your dignity; take men aside to counsel them. Understand and use judgment; know when to stop fighting for something you believe is right. Discuss and argue your point of view until a decision is made, and then support the decision wholeheartedly. Stay ahead of your boss.
David H. Hackworth (About Face: The Odyssey of an American Warrior)
the effects the denial of our true and strong emotions have on our bodies. Such denial is demanded of us not least by morality and religion. On the basis of what I know about psychotherapy, both from personal experience and from accounts I have been given by very many people, I have come to the conclusion that individuals abused in childhood can attempt to obey the Fourth Commandment* only by recourse to a massive repression and detachment of their true emotions. They cannot love and honor their parents because unconsciously they still fear them. However much they may want to, they cannot build up a relaxed and trusting relationship. Instead, what usually materializes is a pathological attachment, a mixture of fear and dutiful obedience that hardly deserves the name of love in the genuine sense of the word. I call this a sham, a façade. In addition, people abused in childhood frequently hope all their lives that someday they will experience the love they have been denied. These expectations reinforce their attachment to their parents, an attachment that religious creeds refer to as love and praise as a virtue. Unfortunately, the same thing happens in most therapies, as most people are still dominated by traditional morality. There is a price to be paid for this morality, a price paid by the body. Individuals who believe that they feel what they ought to feel and constantly do their best not to feel what they forbid themselves to feel will ultimately fall ill—unless, that is, they leave it to their children to pick up the check by projecting onto them the emotions they cannot admit to themselves. This
Alice Miller (The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Hurtful Parenting)
We had better want the consequences of what we believe or disbelieve, because the consequences will come! . . . But how can a society set priorities if there are no basic standards? Are we to make our calculations using only the arithmetic of appetite? . . . The basic strands which have bound us together socially have begun to fray, and some of them have snapped. Even more pressure is then placed upon the remaining strands. The fact that the giving way is gradual will not prevent it from becoming total. . . . Given the tremendous asset that the family is, we must do all we can within constitutional constraints to protect it from predatory things like homosexuality and pornography. . . . Our whole republic rests upon the notion of “obedience to the unenforceable,” upon a tremendous emphasis on inner controls through self-discipline. . . . Different beliefs do make for different behaviors; what we think does affect our actions; concepts do have consequences. . . . Once society loses its capacity to declare that some things are wrong per se, then it finds itself forever building temporary defenses, revising rationales, drawing new lines—but forever falling back and losing its nerve. A society which permits anything will eventually lose everything! Take away a consciousness of eternity and see how differently time is spent. Take away an acknowledgement of divine design in the structure of life and then watch the mindless scurrying to redesign human systems to make life pain-free and pleasure-filled. Take away regard for the divinity in one’s neighbor, and watch the drop in our regard for his property. Take away basic moral standards and observe how quickly tolerance changes into permissiveness. Take away the sacred sense of belonging to a family or community, and observe how quickly citizens cease to care for big cities. Those of us who are business-oriented are quick to look for the bottom line in our endeavors. In the case of a value-free society, the bottom line is clear—the costs are prohibitive! A value-free society eventually imprisons its inhabitants. It also ends up doing indirectly what most of its inhabitants would never have agreed to do directly—at least initially. Can we turn such trends around? There is still a wealth of wisdom in the people of this good land, even though such wisdom is often mute and in search of leadership. People can often feel in their bones the wrongness of things, long before pollsters pick up such attitudes or before such attitudes are expressed in the ballot box. But it will take leadership and articulate assertion of basic values in all places and in personal behavior to back up such assertions. Even then, time and the tides are against us, so that courage will be a key ingredient. It will take the same kind of spunk the Spartans displayed at Thermopylae when they tenaciously held a small mountain pass against overwhelming numbers of Persians. The Persians could not dislodge the Spartans and sent emissaries forward to threaten what would happen if the Spartans did not surrender. The Spartans were told that if they did not give up, the Persians had so many archers in their army that they would darken the skies with their arrows. The Spartans said simply: “So much the better, we will fight in the shade!
Neal A. Maxwell
What shapes the best in us dies when the best education dies! The best in us shall always be undermined when they that are responsible for shaping the best in us are always undermined! I stand for a different education: a different education where students will not just learn books but life! I stand for a different education: a different education where students will not just learn moral principles, but they shall be living examples of moral principles. I stand for a different education: a different education where students don’t just understand what they learn, but practice what they learn with understanding! I stand for a different education: a different education where students will not just learn about people of different beliefs, culture and backgrounds, but how to live with people who don’t share common perspective with them and know how to show their emotions of bitterness and misunderstanding rightly! I stand for a different education: a different education where students will be perfect ambassadors’ of God on earth and live their daily lives with all due diligence! I stand for a different education: a different education where students will understand why we all breathe the same air, sleep and wake up each day in the same manner to continue the journey of life! I stand for a different education: a different education where students will learn with inspiration even in their desperations! I stand for a different education: a different education where teachers are seen as true epitome of education! I stand for a different education: a different education in which the value of the teacher is well understood and the teacher is well valued as a treasure! I stand for a different education: a different education where students will not just learn, but they will reproduce great and noble things with what they learn! I stand for a different education: a different education where students will understand the real meaning of integrity and responsibility and with true courage and humility be that as such! I stand for a different education: a different education where education means creativity! Education is the spine of every nation! The better the education, the better the nation! The mediocre the education, the mediocre the nation! A good nation is good because of how education has shaped the perspective and understanding of the populace! A nation that does not know where it is heading towards must ask the machine that produces the populace who drive the nation: education! Until we fix our education, we shall always have a wrong education and we shall always see a wrong nation!
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
In the campaign of 1876, Robert G. Ingersoll came to Madison to speak. I had heard of him for years; when I was a boy on the farm a relative of ours had testified in a case in which Ingersoll had appeared as an attorney and he had told the glowing stories of the plea that Ingersoll had made. Then, in the spring of 1876, Ingersoll delivered the Memorial Day address at Indianapolis. It was widely published shortly after it was delivered and it startled and enthralled the whole country. I remember that it was printed on a poster as large as a door and hung in the post-office at Madison. I can scarcely convey now, or even understand, the emotional effect the reading of it produced upon me. Oblivious of my surroundings, I read it with tears streaming down my face. It began, I remember: "The past rises before me like a dream. Again we are in the great struggle for national life.We hear the sounds of preparation--the music of boisterous drums--the silver voices of heroic bugles. We see the pale cheeks of women and the flushed faces of men; and in those assemblages we see all the dead whose dust we have covered with flowers..." I was fairly entranced. he pictured the recruiting of the troops, the husbands and fathers with their families on the last evening, the lover under the trees and the stars; then the beat of drums, the waving flags, the marching away; the wife at the turn of the lane holds her baby aloft in her arms--a wave of the hand and he has gone; then you see him again in the heat of the charge. It was wonderful how it seized upon my youthful imagination. When he came to Madison I crowded myself into the assembly chamber to hear him: I would not have missed it for every worldly thing I possessed. And he did not disappoint me. A large handsome man of perfect build, with a face as round as a child's and a compelling smile--all the arts of the old-time oratory were his in high degree. He was witty, he was droll, he was eloquent: he was as full of sentiment as an old violin. Often, while speaking, he would pause, break into a smile, and the audience, in anticipation of what was to come, would follow him in irresistible peals of laughter. I cannot remember much that he said, but the impression he made upon me was indelible. After that I got Ingersoll's books and never afterward lost an opportunity to hear him speak. He was the greatest orater, I think, that I have ever heard; and the greatest of his lectures, I have always thought, was the one on Shakespeare. Ingersoll had a tremendous influence upon me, as indeed he had upon many young men of that time. It was not that he changed my beliefs, but that he liberated my mind. Freedom was what he preached: he wanted the shackles off everywhere. He wanted men to think boldly about all things: he demanded intellectual and moral courage. He wanted men to follow wherever truth might lead them. He was a rare, bold, heroic figure.
Robert Marion La Follette (La Follette's Autobiography: A Personal Narrative of Political Experiences)
enlargement of our being. We want to be more than ourselves. Each of us by nature sees the whole world from one point of view with a perspective and a selectiveness peculiar to himself. And even when we build disinterested fantasies, they are saturated with, and limited by, our own psychology. To acquiesce in this particularity on the sensuous level—in other words, not to discount perspective—would be lunacy. We should then believe that the railway line really grew narrower as it receded into the distance. But we want to escape the illusions of perspective on higher levels too. We want to see with other eyes, to imagine with other imaginations, to feel with other hearts, as well as with our own.      [138] We are not content to be Leibnitzian monads. We demand windows. Literature as Logos is a series of windows, even of doors. One of the things we feel after reading a great work is ‘I have got out’. Or from another point of view, ‘I have got in’; pierced the shell of some other monad and discovered what it is like inside. Good reading, therefore, though it is not essentially an affectional or moral or intellectual activity, has something in common with all three. In love we escape from our self into one other. In the moral sphere, every act of justice or charity involves putting ourselves in the other person’s place and thus transcending our own competitive particularity. In coming to understand anything we are rejecting the facts as they are for us in favour of the facts as they are. The primary impulse of each is to maintain and aggrandise himself. The secondary impulse is to go out of the self, to correct its provincialism and heal its loneliness. In love, in virtue, in the pursuit of knowledge, and in the reception of the arts, we are doing this. Obviously this process can be described either as an enlargement or as a temporary annihilation of the self. But that is an old paradox; ‘he that loseth his life shall save it’. We therefore delight to enter into other
C.S. Lewis (An Experiment in Criticism)
How are we going to bring about these transformations? Politics as usual—debate and argument, even voting—are no longer sufficient. Our system of representative democracy, created by a great revolution, must now itself become the target of revolutionary change. For too many years counting, vast numbers of people stopped going to the polls, either because they did not care what happened to the country or the world or because they did not believe that voting would make a difference on the profound and interconnected issues that really matter. Now, with a surge of new political interest having give rise to the Obama presidency, we need to inject new meaning into the concept of the “will of the people.” The will of too many Americans has been to pursue private happiness and take as little responsibility as possible for governing our country. As a result, we have left the job of governing to our elected representatives, even though we know that they serve corporate interests and therefore make decisions that threaten our biosphere and widen the gulf between the rich and poor both in our country and throughout the world. In other words, even though it is readily apparent that our lifestyle choices and the decisions of our representatives are increasing social injustice and endangering our planet, too many of us have wanted to continue going our merry and not-so-merry ways, periodically voting politicians in and out of office but leaving the responsibility for policy decisions to them. Our will has been to act like consumers, not like responsible citizens. Historians may one day look back at the 2000 election, marked by the Supreme Court’s decision to award the presidency to George W. Bush, as a decisive turning point in the death of representative democracy in the United States. National Public Radio analyst Daniel Schorr called it “a junta.” Jack Lessenberry, columnist for the MetroTimes in Detroit, called it “a right-wing judicial coup.” Although more restrained, the language of dissenting justices Breyer, Ginsberg, Souter, and Stevens was equally clear. They said that there was no legal or moral justification for deciding the presidency in this way.3 That’s why Al Gore didn’t speak for me in his concession speech. You don’t just “strongly disagree” with a right-wing coup or a junta. You expose it as illegal, immoral, and illegitimate, and you start building a movement to challenge and change the system that created it. The crisis brought on by the fraud of 2000 and aggravated by the Bush administration’s constant and callous disregard for the Constitution exposed so many defects that we now have an unprecedented opportunity not only to improve voting procedures but to turn U.S. democracy into “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” instead of government of, by, and for corporate power.
Grace Lee Boggs (The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century)