Reform Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Reform. Here they are! All 200 of them:

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).
Mark Twain
I'm not good," he said, piercing me with eyes that absorbed all light but reflected none, "but I was worse.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1))
Even if things don't unfold the way you expected, don't be disheartened or give up. One who continues to advance will win in the end.
Daisaku Ikeda
Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.
Voltaire (Philosophical Dictionary)
The only way a woman can ever reform a man is by boring him so completely that he loses all possible interest in life.
Oscar Wilde
it is impossible to build one's own happiness on the unhappiness of others. This perspective is at the heart of Buddhist teachings.
Daisaku Ikeda
Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." [Preface to Brissot's Address to His Constituents (1794)]
Edmund Burke (On Empire, Liberty, and Reform: Speeches and Letters)
Life is painful. It has thorns, like the stem of a rose. Culture and art are the roses that bloom on the stem. The flower is yourself, your humanity. Art is the liberation of the humanity inside yourself.
Daisaku Ikeda
It is better to lose your life than to waste it.
John Piper
Don't marry a man to reform him - that's what reform schools are for.
Mae West
The fact is that given the challenges we face, education doesn't need to be reformed -- it needs to be transformed. The key to this transformation is not to standardize education, but to personalize it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true passions.
Ken Robinson (The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything)
Leave behind the passive dreaming of a rose-tinted future. The energy of happiness exists in living today with roots sunk firmly in reality's soil.
Daisaku Ikeda
Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn't.
John Piper
When I understand myself, I understand you, and out of that understanding comes love. Love is the missing factor; there is a lack of affection, of warmth in relationship; and because we lack that love, that tenderness, that generosity, that mercy in relationship, we escape into mass action which produces further confusion, further misery. We fill our hearts with blueprints for world reform and do not look to that one resolving factor which is love.
Jiddu Krishnamurti
Reformed rakes often make the best husbands.
Judith McNaught (Something Wonderful (Sequels, #2))
Wanting to reform the world without discovering one's true self is like trying to cover the world with leather to avoid the pain of walking on stones and thorns. It is much simpler to wear shoes.
Ramana Maharshi
Ah, you miserable creatures! You who think that you are so great! You who judge humanity to be so small! You who wish to reform everything! Why don't you reform yourselves? That task would be sufficient enough.
Frédéric Bastiat
Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Let Nobody Turn Us Around: Voices on Resistance, Reform, and Renewal an African American Anthology)
Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits.
Mark Twain
Every reform movement has a lunatic fringe.
Theodore Roosevelt
Do you feel loved by God because you believe he makes much of you, or because you believe he frees you and empowers you to enjoy making much of him?
John Piper
In fact, once he is motivated no one can change more completely than the man who has been at the bottom. I call myself the best example of that.
Malcolm X (The Autobiography of Malcolm X)
They realize at last that change does not mean reform, that change does not mean improvement.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
A great human revolution in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation and, further, can even enable a change in the destiny of all humankind.
Daisaku Ikeda (The Human Revolution (The Human Revolution, #1-12))
You're a con artist. A liar. A thief. An unredeemable soul. You can't be reformed. You can't be saved. You'll die trying to make the world pay for what it did to you. And you'll die alone.
Karina Halle (Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy, #1))
It is time to effect a revolution in female manners - time to restore to them their lost dignity - and make them, as a part of the human species, labour by reforming themselves to reform the world. It is time to separate unchangeable morals from local manners.
Mary Wollstonecraft (A Vindication of the Rights of Woman)
Fight for us, O God, that we not drift numb and blind and foolish into vain and empty excitements. Life is too short, too precious, too painful to waste on worldly bubbles that burst. Heaven is too great, hell is too horrible, eternity is too long that we should putter around on the porch of eternity.
John Piper
You contribute nothing to your salvation except the sin that made it necessary.
Jonathan Edwards
The Reformer is always right about what's wrong. However, he's often wrong about what is right.
G.K. Chesterton
Study hard, for the well is deep, and our brains are shallow.
Richard Baxter (The Reformed Pastor)
My hobby is extreme Catholic behavior -- BEFORE the Reformation.
John Waters
Christ did not die to forgive sinners who go on treasuring anything above seeing and savoring God. And people who would be happy in heaven if Christ were not there, will not be there. The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven; it is a way to get people to God. It's a way of overcoming every obstacle to everlasting joy in God. If we don't want God above all things, we have not been converted by the gospel.
John Piper (God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God's Love as the Gift of Himself)
Education leads to enlightenment. Enlightenment opens the way to empathy. Empathy foreshadows reform.
Derrick A. Bell (Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism)
To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century)
Ignore that nightmare in the bathroom. Just another ugly refugee from the Love Generation, some doom-struck gimp who couldn't handle the pressure. My attorney has never been able to accept the notion—often espoused by reformed drug abusers and especially popular among those on probation—that you can get a lot higher without drugs than with them. And neither have I, for that matter.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
Scholars are those who have read in books, but thinkers, men of genius, world-enlighteners, and reformers of the human race are those who have read directly in the book of the world.
Arthur Schopenhauer
When students cheat on exams it's because our school system values grades more than students value learning.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Scholars have argued that without humanism the Reformation could not have succeeded, and it is certainly difficult to imagine the Reformation occurring without the knowledge of languages, the critical handling of sources, the satirical attacks on clerics and scholastics, and the new national feeling that a generation of humanists provided. On the other hand, the long-term success of the humanists owed something to the Reformation. In Protestant schools and universities classical culture found a permanent home. The humanist curriculum, with its stress on languages and history, became a lasting model for the arts curriculum.
Steven E. Ozment (The Age of Reform 1250-1550)
Gundar isn't so much a ship's captain as a reformed pirate and a heathen." [Evanlyn] looked apologetically at Gundar. "No offense, Gundar." The skirl shrugged cheerfully. "None taken, little lady. It's a pretty fair description. Not sure about the reformed part," he added thoughtfully.
John Flanagan (The Emperor of Nihon-Ja (Ranger's Apprentice, #10))
Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority? Why does it cry and resist before it is hurt? Why does it not encourage its citizens to be on the alert to point out its faults, and do better than it would have them?
Henry David Thoreau (Civil Disobedience and Other Essays)
... the worst possible heritage to leave with children: high spiritual pretensions and low performance.
D.A. Carson (A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers)
A party of order or stability, and a party of progress or reform, are both necessary elements of a healthy state of political life.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
Love is our most unifying and empowering common spiritual denominator. The more we ignore its potential to bring greater balance and deeper meaning to human existence, the more likely we are to continue to define history as one long inglorious record of man’s inhumanity to man.
Aberjhani (Journey through the Power of the Rainbow: Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry)
Power in the hands of the reformer is no less potentially corrupting than in the hands of the oppressor.
Derrick A. Bell (Ethical Ambition: Living a Life of Meaning and Worth)
Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences...
Susan B. Anthony
We must realize that the Reformation world view leads in the direction of government freedom. But the humanist world view with inevitable certainty leads in the direction of statism. This is so because humanists, having no god, must put something at the center, and it is inevitably society, government, or the state.
Francis A. Schaeffer
He who goes about to reform the world must begin with himself, or he loses his labor.
Ignatius of Loyola
This is no simple reform. It really is a revolution. Sex and race because they are easy and visible differences have been the primary ways of organizing human beings into superior and inferior groups and into the cheap labor on which this system still depends. We are talking about a society in which there will be no roles other than those chosen or those earned. We are really talking about humanism.
Gloria Steinem
Formal education teaches how to stand, but to see the rainbow you must come out and walk many steps on your own.
Amit Ray (Nonviolence: The Transforming Power)
All outward forms of change brought about by wars, revolutions, reformations, laws and ideologies have failed completely to change the basic nature of man and therefore of society.
Jiddu Krishnamurti (Freedom from the Known)
I sadly want a reform in the construction of children. Nature's only idea seems to be to make them machines for the production of incessant noise.
Wilkie Collins (The Woman in White)
Well, Diotallevi and I are planning a reform in higher education. A School of Comparative Irrelevance, where useless or impossibe courses are given. The school's aim is to turn out scholars capable of endlessly increasing the number of unnecessary subjects.
Umberto Eco (Foucault's Pendulum)
The healthy Christian is not necessarily the extrovert, ebullient Christian, but the Christian who has a sense of God's presence stamped deep on his soul, who trembles at God's word, who lets it dwell in him richly by constant meditation upon it, and who tests and reforms his life daily in response to it.
J.I. Packer
God is the highest good of the reasonable creature. The enjoyment of him is our proper; and is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Better than fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of any, or all earthly friends. These are but shadows; but the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams; but God is the sun. These are but streams; but God is the fountain. These are but drops, but God is the ocean.
Jonathan Edwards (The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 17: Sermons and Discourses, 1730-1733)
The prisons in the United States had long been an extreme reflection of the American system itself: the stark life differences between rich and poor, the racism, the use of victims against one another, the lack of resources of the underclass to speak out, the endless "reforms" that changed little. Dostoevski once said: "The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons." It had long been true, and prisoners knew this better than anyone, that the poorer you were the more likely you were to end up in jail. This was not just because the poor committed more crimes. In fact, they did. The rich did not have to commit crimes to get what they wanted; the laws were on their side. But when the rich did commit crimes, they often were not prosecuted, and if they were they could get out on bail, hire clever lawyers, get better treatment from judges. Somehow, the jails ended up full of poor black people.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
You cheated!” He looked at her, wide-eyed with feigned outrage. “I beg your pardon. If you were a man, I would call you out for that accusation.” “And I assure you, my lord, that I would ride forth victoriously on behalf of truth, humility, and righteousness.” “Are you quoting the Bible to me?” “Indeed,” she said primly, the portrait of piousness. “While gambling.” “What better location to attempt to reform one such as you?
Sarah MacLean (Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers, #1))
In marriage, each partner is to be an encourager rather than a critic; a forgiver rather than a collector of hurts; an enabler rather than a reformer.
H. Norman Wright
You can't go around building a better world for people. Only people can build a better world for people. Otherwise it's just a cage.
Terry Pratchett (Witches Abroad (Discworld, #12; Witches #3))
Reformed rakes make the best husbands,"Violet said. "Rubbish and you know it." -Anthony to Violet
Julia Quinn (The Duke and I (Bridgertons, #1))
Every reformation must have its victims. You can’t expect the fatted calf to share the enthusiasm of the angels over the prodigal’s return.
Saki
I have received no assurance that anything we can do will eradicate suffering. I think the best results are obtained by people who work quietly away at limited objectives, such as the abolition of the slave trade, or prison reform, or factory acts, or tuberculosis, not by those who think they can achieve universal justice, or health, or peace. I think the art of life consists in tackling each immediate evil as well as we can.
C.S. Lewis (The Weight of Glory)
It is said that in some countries trees will grow, but will bear no fruit because there is no winter there.
John Bunyan
Why don't you reform yourselves? That task would be sufficient enough.
Frédéric Bastiat
That drew a mocking laugh from Lillian. “Really, someone should tell St. Vincent that he’s a living cliché. He has become the embodiment of everything they say about reformed rakes.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
Where utopianism is advanced through gradualism rather than revolution, albeit steady and persistent as in democratic societies, it can deceive and disarm an unsuspecting population, which is largely content and passive. It is sold as reforming and improving the existing society's imperfections and weaknesses without imperiling its basic nature. Under these conditions, it is mostly ignored, dismissed, or tolerated by much of the citizenry and celebrated by some. Transformation is deemed innocuous, well-intentioned, and perhaps constructive but not a dangerous trespass on fundamental liberties.
Mark R. Levin (Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America)
You might as well appeal against a thunderstorm as against these terrible hardships of war. War is cruelty, there is no use trying to reform it; the crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.
William T. Sherman
Love is a word we use for the desire to fornicate so that we seem more refined than farm animals." ~Lucian Balfour
Suzanne Enoch (Reforming a Rake (With This Ring, #1))
The big companies are like steel and activists are like heat. Activists soften the steel, and then I can bend it into pretty grillwork and make reforms.
Temple Grandin (Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals)
the most compelling reason for reforming our system is that the system is in no one's interest. It is a suicide machine.
Ronald Wright (A Short History of Progress)
People do not drift toward Holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.
D.A. Carson
There was just such a man when I was young—an Austrian who invented a new way of life and convinced himself that he was the chap to make it work. He tried to impose his reformation by the sword, and plunged the civilized world into misery and chaos. But the thing which this fellow had overlooked, my friend, was that he had a predecessor in the reformation business, called Jesus Christ. Perhaps we may assume that Jesus knew as much as the Austrian did about saving people. But the odd thing is that Jesus did not turn the disciples into strom troopers, burn down the Temple at Jerusalem, and fix the blame on Pontius Pilate. On the contrary, he made it clear that the business of the philosopher was to make ideas available, and not to impose them on people.
T.H. White (The Once and Future King (The Once and Future King, #1-4))
Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions, for safety in the streets, for child care, for social welfare, for rape crisis centres, women's refuges, reforms in the law. If someone says, 'Oh, I'm not a feminist', I ask, 'Why? What's your problem?
Dale Spender (Man Made Language)
Can teachers successfully educate children to think for themselves if teachers are not treated as professionals who think for themselves?
Diane Ravitch (The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education)
I think perhaps we want a more conscious life. We're tired of drudging and sleeping and dying. We're tired of seeing just a few people able to be individualists. We're tired of always deferring hope till the next generation. We're tired of hearing politicians and priests and cautious reformers... coax us, 'Be calm! Be patient! Wait! We have the plans for a Utopia already made; just wiser than you.' For ten thousand years they've said that. We want our Utopia now — and we're going to try our hands at it.
Sinclair Lewis (Main Street)
So you’ll forget her and move on.” I suppose I will. As soon as I forget how to breathe.
Suzanne Enoch (Reforming a Rake (With This Ring, #1))
Diversity is an aspect of human existence that cannot be eradicated by terrorism or war or self-consuming hatred. It can only be conquered by recognizing and claiming the wealth of values it represents for all.
Aberjhani (Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays)
Besides, there was something under the good girl facade. She hated me on sight because she’d been burned by someone like me before. No way was she a slut, though. Not even a reformed slut. I could spot them a mile away. My game face slowly melted away. I’d finally found a girl that was interesting enough to get to know, and a version of me had already hurt her.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
I have seen that it is not man who is impotent in the struggle against evil, but the power of evil that is impotent in the struggle against man. The powerlessness of kindness, of senseless kindness, is the secret of its immortality. It can never by conquered. The more stupid, the more senseless, the more helpless it may seem, the vaster it is. Evil is impotent before it. The prophets, religious teachers, reformers, social and political leaders are impotent before it. This dumb, blind love is man’s meaning. Human history is not the battle of good struggling to overcome evil. It is a battle fought by a great evil, struggling to crush a small kernel of human kindness. But if what is human in human beings has not been destroyed even now, then evil will never conquer.
Vasily Grossman (Life and Fate)
The key to every man is his thought. Sturdy and defying though he look, he has a helm which he obeys, which is the idea after which all his facts are classified. He can only be reformed by showing him a new idea which commands his own.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Beneath the armor of skin/and/bone/and/mind most of our colors are amazingly the same.
Aberjhani (Elemental: The Power of Illuminated Love)
This history of culture will explain to us the motives, the conditions of life, and the thought of the writer or reformer.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits. Fanatics will never learn that, though it be written in letters of gold across the sky. It is the prohibition that makes anything precious
Mark Twain
You may have heard the talk of diversity, sensitivity training, and body cameras. These are all fine and applicable, but they understate the task and allow the citizens of this country to pretend that there is real distance between their own attitudes and those of the ones appointed to protect them. The truth is that the police reflect America in all of its will and fear, and whatever we might make of this country’s criminal justice policy, it cannot be said that it was imposed by a repressive minority. The abuses that have followed from these policies—the sprawling carceral state, the random detention of black people, the torture of suspects—are the product of democratic will. And so to challenge the police is to challenge the American people who send them into the ghettos armed with the same self-generated fears that compelled the people who think they are white to flee the cities and into the Dream. The problem with the police is not that they are fascist pigs but that our country is ruled by majoritarian pigs.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
Writing is.... being able to take something whole and fiercely alive that exists inside you in some unknowable combination of thought, feeling, physicality, and spirit, and to then store it like a genie in tense, tiny black symbols on a calm white page. If the wrong reader comes across the words, they will remain just words. But for the right readers, your vision blooms off the page and is absorbed into their minds like smoke, where it will re-form, whole and alive, fully adapted to its new environment.
Mary Gaitskill
Education is beautification of the inner world and the outer world.
Amit Ray (Nonviolence: The Transforming Power)
The institutions of human society treat us as parts of a machine. They assign us ranks and place considerable pressure upon us to fulfill defined roles. We need something to help us restore our lost and distorted humanity. Each of us has feelings that have been suppressed and have built up inside. There is a voiceless cry resting in the depths of our souls, waiting for expression. Art gives the soul's feelings voice and form.
Daisaku Ikeda
Religion can never reform mankind because religion is slavery. It is far better to be free, to leave the forts and barricades of fear, to stand erect and face the future with a smile. It is far better to give yourself sometimes to negligence, to drift with wave and tide, with the blind force of the world, to think and dream, to forget the chains and limitations of the breathing life, to forget purpose and object, to lounge in the picture gallery of the brain, to feel once more the clasps and kisses of the past, to bring life's morning back, to see again the forms and faces of the dead, to paint fair pictures for the coming years, to forget all Gods, their promises and threats, to feel within your veins life's joyous stream and hear the martial music, the rhythmic beating of your fearless heart. And then to rouse yourself to do all useful things, to reach with thought and deed the ideal in your brain, to give your fancies wing, that they, like chemist bees, may find art's nectar in the weeds of common things, to look with trained and steady eyes for facts, to find the subtle threads that join the distant with the now, to increase knowledge, to take burdens from the weak, to develop the brain, to defend the right, to make a palace for the soul. This is real religion. This is real worship
Robert G. Ingersoll (The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, Vol. IV)
He who seeks to regulate everything by law is more likely to arouse vices than to reform them. It is best to grant what cannot be abolished, even though it be in itself harmful. How many evils spring from luxury, envy, avarice, drunkenness and the like, yet these are tolerated because they cannot be prevented by legal enactments.
Baruch Spinoza
In the days when hyenas of hate suckle the babes of men, and jackals of hypocrisy pimp their mothers’ broken hearts, may children not look to demons of ignorance for hope.
Aberjhani (The River of Winged Dreams)
This world’s anguish is no different from the love we insist on holding back.
Aberjhani (Elemental: The Power of Illuminated Love)
Beneath this mask of selfish tranquility nothing exists except bitterness and boredom. I am one of those whom suffering has made empty and frivilous: each night in my dreams I pull the scab off a wound; each day, vacuous and habit ridden, I let it reform.
Cyril Connolly (The Unquiet Grave: A Word Cycle by Palinurus)
Nothing helps a man to reform like thinking of the past with regret.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Idiot)
God Almighty has set before me two Great Objects: the supression of the Slave Trade and the Reformation of Manners.
William Wilberforce
Patriarchy, reformed or unreformed, is patriarchy still: its worst abuses purged or foresworn, it might actually be more stable and secure than before.
Kate Millett (Sexual Politics)
Political tyranny is nothing compared to the social tyranny and a reformer who defies society is a more courageous man than a politician who defies Government.
B.R. Ambedkar
Multiculturalism should not mean that we tolerate another culture’s intolerance. If we do in fact support diversity, women’s rights, and gay rights, then we cannot in good conscience give Islam a free pass on the grounds of multicultural sensitivity.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now)
The Reformation was a time when men went blind, staggering drunk because they had discovered, in the dusty basement of late medievalism, a whole cellar full of fifteen-hundred-year-old, two-hundred proof Grace–bottle after bottle of pure distilate of Scripture, one sip of which would convince anyone that God saves us single-handedly. The word of the Gospel–after all those centuries of trying to lift yourself into heaven by worrying about the perfection of your bootstraps–suddenly turned out to be a flat announcement that the saved were home before they started…Grace has to be drunk straight: no water, no ice, and certainly no ginger ale; neither goodness, nor badness, not the flowers that bloom in the spring of super spirituality could be allowed to enter into the case.
Robert Farrar Capon (Between Noon & Three: Romance, Law & the Outrage of Grace)
The scriptures present a God who delights in genocide, rape, slavery, and the execution of nonconformists, and for millennia those writings were used to rationalize the massacre of infidels, the ownership of women, the beating of children, dominion over animals, and the persecution of heretics and homosexuals. Humanitarian reforms such as the elimination of cruel punishment, the dissemination of empathy-inducing novels, and the abolition of slavery were met with fierce opposition in their time by ecclesiastical authorities and their apologists. The elevation of parochial values to the realm of the sacred is a license to dismiss other people’s interests, and an imperative to reject the possibility of compromise.
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
Well, Luce, my dear, you may have gone to boarding school parties, but you've never seen a throw-down like reform school kids do it.
Lauren Kate (Fallen (Fallen, #1))
To reason with goverments, as they have existed for ages, is to argue with brutes. It is only from the nations themselves that reforms can be expected
Thomas Paine
We're so busy resigning ourselves to the inevitable that we don't even ask if it is inevitable. We've got to have courage, to take our future into our hands. If the law is oppressive, we must change the law. If tradition is obstructive, we must break tradition. If the system is unjust, we must reform the system.
Winifred Holtby (South Riding)
Cal says that humans are made from the nuclear ash of dead stars. He says that when I die, I'll return to dust, glitter,rain. If thats true, I want to be buried right here under this tree. Its roots will reach into the soft mess of my body and suck me dry. I'll be re-formed as apple blossom. I'll drift down in the spring like confetti and cling to my family's shoes. They'll carry me in their pockets to help them sleep. What dreams will they have then?
Jenny Downham (Before I Die)
Leo Tolstoy's life has been devoted to replacing the method of violence for removing tyranny or securing reform by the method of non­resistance to evil. He would meet hatred expressed in violence by love expressed in self­suffering.
Mahatma Gandhi (Gandhi: An autobiography)
The American system is the most ingenious system of control in world history. With a country so rich in natural resources, talent, and labor power the system can afford to distribute just enough wealth to just enough people to limit discontent to a troublesome minority. It is a country so powerful, so big, so pleasing to so many of its citizens that it can afford to give freedom of dissent to the small number who are not pleased. There is no system of control with more openings, apertures, leeways, flexibilities, rewards for the chosen, winning tickets in lotteries. There is none that disperses its controls more complexly through the voting system, the work situation, the church, the family, the school, the mass media--none more successful in mollifying opposition with reforms, isolating people from one another, creating patriotic loyalty.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
If God had perceived that our greatest need was economic, he would have sent an economist. If he had perceived that our greatest need was entertainment, he would have sent us a comedian or an artist. If God had perceived that our greatest need was political stability, he would have sent us a politician. If he had perceived that our greatest need was health, he would have sent us a doctor. But he perceived that our greatest need involved our sin, our alienation from him, our profound rebellion, our death; and he sent us a Savior.
D.A. Carson (A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers)
We stigmatize mistakes. And we're now running national educational systems where mistakes are the worst thing you can make -- and the result is that we are educating people out of their creative capacities.
Ken Robinson
What's the point of obsessing over cholesterol or bike helmets or even cigarettes when the biggest threats to our children are being released back into society every day? Yes, maybe 'some' of them have reformed, but what about the ones who haven't? Doesn't anyone realize that one 'touch', one 'time' will destroy a child's life ten times faster than a pack-a-day habit?
Laura Wiess (Such a Pretty Girl)
Since then your sere Majesty and your Lordships seek a simple answer, I will give it in this manner, neither horned nor toothed. Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen." (Reply to the Diet of Worms, April 18, 1521)
Martin Luther (Luther's Works, 33: Career of the Reformer III (Luther's Works))
Democracy is not simply a license to indulge individual whims and proclivities. It is also holding oneself accountable to some reasonable degree for the conditions of peace and chaos that impact the lives of those who inhabit one’s beloved extended community.
Aberjhani (Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays)
The most thoroughly and relentlessly damned, banned, excluded, condemned, forbidden, ostracized, ignored, suppressed, repressed, robbed, brutalized and defamed of all 'Damned Things' is the individual human being. The social engineers, statisticians, psychologists, sociologists, market researchers, landlords, bureaucrats, captains of industry, bankers, governors, commissars, kings and presidents are perpetually forcing this 'Damned Thing' into carefully prepared blueprints and perpetually irritated that the 'Damned Thing' will not fit into the slot assigned it. The theologians call it a sinner and try to reform it. The governor calls it a criminal and tries to punish it. The psychologist calls it a neurotic and tries to cure it. Still, the 'Damned Thing' will not fit into their slots.
Robert Anton Wilson
Our government rests upon religion. It is from that source that we derive our reverence for truth and justice, for equality and liberality, and for the rights of mankind. Unless the people believe in these principles they cannot believe in our government. There are only two main theories of government in our world. One rests on righteousness and the other on force. One appeals to reason, and the other appeals to the sword. One is exemplified in the republic, the other is represented by despotism. The government of a country never gets ahead of the religion of a country. There is no way by which we can substitute the authority of law for the virtue of man. Of course we endeavor to restrain the vicious, and furnish a fair degree of security and protection by legislation and police control, but the real reform which society in these days is seeking will come as a result of our religious convictions, or they will not come at all. Peace, justice, humanity, charity—these cannot be legislated into being. They are the result of divine grace.
Calvin Coolidge
The purpose of school should not be to prepare students for more school. We should be seeking to have fully engaged students now.
Donalyn Miller (The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child)
How aware are we of our own inner life, our spirituality-something so intangible yet so priceless? How much effort do we make to perceive that which is not obvious, which can neither be seen nor heard? I believe the exploration and enrichment of the human spirit is what determines our very humanity. Such enrichment provides an inner compass that can lead civilizations to greatness.
Daisaku Ikeda
This society [Jesuits] has been a greater calamity to mankind than the French Revolution, or Napoleon's despotism or ideology. It has obstructed the progress of reformation and the improvement of the human mind in society much longer and more fatally. {Letter to Thomas Jefferson, November 4, 1816. Adams wrote an anonymous 4 volume work on the destructive history of the Jesuits}
John Adams (The Adams-Jefferson Letters: The Complete Correspondence Between Thomas Jefferson and Abigail and John Adams)
Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust. Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override. For this reason justice denies that the loss of freedom for some is made right by a greater good shared by others. It does not allow that the sacrifices imposed on a few are outweighed by the larger sum of advantages enjoyed by many. Therefore in a just society the liberties of equal citizenship are taken as settled; the rights secured by justice are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of social interests.
John Rawls (A Theory of Justice)
Till men have faith in Christ, their best services are but glorious sins.
Thomas Brooks
It is hard to talk about a middle ground for something that is a fundamental right.
Teri Reynolds (The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad)
We are afraid of the known and afraid of the unknown. That is our daily life and in that there is no hope, and therefore every form of philosophy, every form of theological concept, is merely an escape from the actual reality of what is. All outward forms of change brought about by wars, revolutions, reformations, laws and ideologies have failed completely to change the basic nature of man and therefore of society.
Thomas Jefferson
Class warfare or soaking the so-called rich may make for good populist demagoguery and serve the political ends of the governing masterminds, but it does nothing to solve the grave realities of the federal government's insatiable appetite for spending and its inability to reform itself.
Mark R. Levin (The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic)
Governments have always tried to crush reform movements, to destroy ideas, to kill the thing that cannot die. Without regard to history, which shows that no Government have ever succeeded in doing this, they go on trying in the old, senseless way.
Emmeline Pankhurst (My Own Story)
And its object is Art not power, sub-creation not domination and tyrannous re-forming of Creation.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Silmarillion)
The basic problem of the Christians in this country in the last eighty years or so, in regard to society and in regard to government, is that they have seen things in bits and pieces instead of totals.
Francis A. Schaeffer (A Christian Manifesto)
The Christian's whole desire, at its best and highest, is that Jesus Christ be praised. It is always a wretched bastardization of our goals when we want to win glory for ourselves instead of for him.
D.A. Carson (A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers)
It becomes more and more difficult to avoid the idea of black men as subjects of not just racial profiling but of an insidious form of racial obliteration sanctioned by silence.
Aberjhani (Illuminated Corners: Collected Essays and Articles Volume I.)
Suffering builds character and impels you to penetrate life’s secrets. It’s the path of great artists, great religious leaders, great social reformers. The problem is not suffering per se, but rather our identification with our own ego: our divided, dualistic, cramped view of things. ‘We are too ego-centered,’ Suzuki tells Cage.’ The ego-shell in which we live is the hardest thing to outgrow. We seem to carry it all the time from childhood up to the time we finally pass away.
Kay Larson (Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists)
If the idea of loving those whom you have been taught to recognize as your enemies is too overwhelming, consider more deeply the observation that we are all much more alike than we are unalike.
Aberjhani (Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays)
God is pursuing with omnipotent passion a worldwide purpose of gathering joyful worshipers for Himself from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. He has an inexhaustible enthusiasm for the supremacy of His name among the nations. Therefore, let us bring our affections into line with His, and, for the sake of His name, let us renounce the quest for worldly comforts and join His global purpose.
John Piper
Why should the spread of ideas and people result in reforms that lower violence? There are several pathways. The most obvious is a debunking of ignorance and superstition. A connected and educated populace, at least in aggregate and over the long run, is bound to be disabused of poisonous beliefs, such as that members of other races and ethnicities are innately avaricious or perfidious; that economic and military misfortunes are caused by the treachery of ethnic minorities; that women don't mind to be raped; that children must be beaten to be socialized; that people choose to be homosexual as part of a morally degenerate lifestyle; that animals are incapable of feeling pain. The recent debunking of beliefs that invite or tolerate violence call to mind Voltaire's quip that those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
The conservatives are fools: They whine about the decay of traditional values, yet they enthusiastically support technological progress and economic growth. Apparently it never occurs to them that you can't make rapid, drastic changes in the technology and the economy of a society without causing rapid changes in all other aspects of the society as well, and that such rapid changes inevitably break down traditional values.
Theodore J. Kaczynski (Industrial Society and Its Future)
The teaching of celibacy was created neither by the Church Fathers nor by the later Church leaders, as most people believe.
Danail Hristov (Celibacy: a Godsend or a Life-Undermining Practice)
There iz no alternativ. Every possible reezon that could ever be offered for altering the spelling of wurds, stil exists in full force; and if a gradual reform should not be made in our language, it wil proov that we are less under the influence of reezon than our ancestors. [This quote illustrates the reformed spelling advocated by Webster.]
Noah Webster
If Rosie’s mother had known that eye colour was not a reliable indicator of paternity, and organised a DNA test to confirm her suspicions, there would have been no Father Project, no Great Cocktail Night, no New York Adventure, no Reform Don Project—and no Rosie Project. Had it not been for this unscheduled series of events, her daughter and I would not have fallen in love. And I would still be eating lobster every Tuesday night. Incredible.
Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1))
Bien que les étoiles ne parlent pas, même en étant silencieux, ils crient. Although the stars do not speak, even in being silent they cry out.
John Calvin
There's no such thing as neutral education. Education either functions as an instrument to bring about conformity or freedom.
Paulo Freire (Pedagogy of the Oppressed)
Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reform. The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims, have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters." "This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. In the light of these ideas, Negroes will be hunted at the North, and held and flogged at the South so long as they submit to those devilish outrages, and make no resistance, either moral or physical. Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by our lives and the lives of others.
Frederick Douglass
And you know,you really have made your point with Aaron and Mia. You don't have to keep him around to keep hanging out with the royals.” "Why do I keep getting the feeling you don't like him anymore?” "I like him okay—which is about as much as you like him. And I don't think you should get hot and sweaty with people you only like 'okay'.“ Lissa widened her eyes in pretend astonishment. "Is this Rose Hathaway talking? Have you reformed? Or do you have someone you like 'more than okay'?” "Hey" I said uncomfortably, "I'm just looking out for you.That, and I never noticed how boring Aaron is before.” She scoffed. "You think everyone's boring.” "Christian isn't.
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
Schools train you to be ignorant with style [...] they prepare you to be a usable victim for a military industrial complex that needs manpower. As long as you're just smart enough to do a job and just dumb enough to swallow what they feed you, you're going to be alright [...] So I believe that schools mechanically and very specifically try and breed out any hint of creative thought in the kids that are coming up.
Frank Zappa
...I have had such a sickening of men in masses, and of causes, that I would not cross this room to reform parliament or prevent the union or to bring about the millennium. I speak only for myself, mind - it is my own truth alone - but man as part of a movement or a crowd is indifferent to me. He is inhuman. And I have nothing to do with nations, or nationalism. The only feelings I have - for what they are - are for men as individuals; my loyalties, such as they may be, are to private persons alone.
Patrick O'Brian (Master and Commander (Aubrey & Maturin, #1))
The personality of Muhammad, it is most difficult to get into the whole truth of it. Only a glimpse of it I can catch. What a dramatic succession of picturesque scenes! There is Muhammad, the Prophet; there is Muhammad, the Warrior; Muhammad, the Businessman; Muhammad, the Statesman; Muhammad, the Orator; Muhammad, the Reformer; Muhammad, the Refuge of Orphans; Muhammad, the Protector of Slaves; Muhammad, the Emancipator of Women; Muhammad, the Judge; Muhammad, the Saint. All in all these magnificent roles, in all these departments of human activities, he is like a hero.
K.S. Ramakrishna Rao
How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?“ Winston thought. “By making him suffer”, he said. “Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery is torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but MORE merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress towards more pain. The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy – everything. Already we are breaking down the habits of thought which have survived from before the Revolution. We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed.
George Orwell (1984)
In my head this cruel unspeakable truth: that we battled and we cursed and we spilled each other’s blood, we relished our taste of hell and strangled heaven’s love.
Aberjhani (Visions of a Skylark Dressed in Black)
...paradise is a world where everything is a sanctuary & nothing is a gun...
Danez Smith (Don't Call Us Dead)
I know you all, and will awhile uphold The unyoked humour of your idleness. Yet herein will I imitate the sun, Who doth permit the base contagious clouds To smother up his beauty from the world, That when he please again to be himself, Being wanted, he may be more wondered at By breaking through the foul and ugly mists Of vapours that did seem to strangle him. If all the year were playing holidays, To sport would be as tedious as to work; But when they seldom come, they wished-for come, And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents. So, when this loose behaviour I throw off And pay the debt I never promisèd, By how much better than my word I am, By so much shall I falsify men’s hopes; And like bright metal on a sullen ground, My reformation, glitt’ring o’er my fault, Shall show more goodly and attract more eyes Than that which hath no foil to set it off. I’ll so offend to make offence a skill, Redeeming time when men think least I will.
William Shakespeare (King Henry IV, Part 1)
Discourse and critical thinking are essential tools when it comes to securing progress in a democratic society. But in the end, unity and engaged participation are what make it happen.
Aberjhani (Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays)
Now, as far as I knew, he (Luke) was still sailing around on his demon-infested cruise ship while the chopped-up Lord Kronos re-formed, bit by bit, in a golden sarcophagus, biding his time until he had enough power to challenge the Olympian gods. In demigod-speak, we call this a “problem.” - Percy, 'The Battle of the Labyrinth
Rick Riordan
No matter how many times Percy killed them and watched them crumble to powder, they just kept re-forming like large evil dust bunnies.
Rick Riordan
On the way from the Renaissance to our days we have enriched our experience, but we have lost the concept of a Supreme Complete Entity which used to restrain our passions and our irresponsibility. We have placed too much hope in political and social reforms, only to find out that we were being deprived of our most precious possession: our spiritual life. In the East, it is destroyed by the dealings and machinations of the ruling party. In the West, commercial interests tend to suffocate it. This is the real crisis.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream was a manifestation of hope that humanity might one day get out of its own way by finding the courage to realize that love and nonviolence are not indicators of weakness but gifts of significant strength.
Aberjhani (Illuminated Corners: Collected Essays and Articles Volume I.)
There are illusions of popular history which a successful religion must promote: Evil men never prosper; only the brave deserve the fair; honesty is the best policy; actions speak louder than words; virtue always triumphs; a good deed is its own reward; any bad human can be reformed; religious talismans protect one from demon possession; only females understand the ancient mysteries; the rich are doomed to unhappiness.
Frank Herbert (Children of Dune (Dune Chronicles #3))
Your weak side, my diabolic friend, is that you have always been a gull: you take Man at his own valuation. Nothing would flatter him more than your opinion of him. He loves to think of himself as bold and bad. He is neither one nor the other: he is only a coward. Call him tyrant, murderer, pirate, bully; and he will adore you, and swagger about with the consciousness of having the blood of the old sea kings in his veins. Call him liar and thief; and he will only take an action against you for libel. But call him coward; and he will go mad with rage: he will face death to outface that stinging truth. Man gives every reason for his conduct save one, every excuse for his crimes save one, every plea for his safety save one: and that one is his cowardice. Yet all his civilization is founded on his cowardice, on his abject tameness, which he calls his respectability. There are limits to what a mule or an ass will stand; but Man will suffer himself to be degraded until his vileness becomes so loathsome to his oppressors that they themselves are forced to reform it.
George Bernard Shaw
The necessity of reform mustn’t be allowed to become a form of blackmail serving to limit, reduce, or halt the exercise of criticism. Under no circumstances should one pay attention to those who tell one: “Don’t criticize, since you’re not capable of carrying out a reform.” That’s ministerial cabinet talk. Critique doesn’t have to be the premise of a deduction that concludes, “this, then, is what needs to be done.” It should be an instrument for those for who fight, those who resist and refuse what is. Its use should be in processes of conflict and confrontation, essays in refusal. It doesn’t have to lay down the law for the law. It isn’t a stage in a programming. It is a challenge directed to what is.
Michel Foucault (The Essential Foucault: Selections from Essential Works of Foucault, 1954-1984)
I am not, in the ordinary acceptation of the term, a good-natured man; that is, many things annoy me besides what interferes with my own ease and interest. I hate a lie; a piece of injustice wounds me to the quick, though nothing but the report of it reach me. Therefore I have made many enemies and few friends; for the public know nothing of well-wishers, and keep a wary eye on those who would reform them.
William Hazlitt
A people living under the perpetual menace of war and invasion is very easy to govern. It demands no social reform. It does not haggle over expenditures for armaments and military equipment. It pays without discussion, it ruins itself, and that is an excellent thing for the syndicates of financiers and manufacturers for whom patriotic terrors are an abundant source of gain.
Anatole France
The job facing American voters… in the days and years to come is to determine which hearts, minds and souls command those qualities best suited to unify a country rather than further divide it, to heal the wounds of a nation as opposed to aggravate its injuries, and to secure for the next generation a legacy of choices based on informed awareness rather than one of reactions based on unknowing fear.
Aberjhani (Illuminated Corners: Collected Essays and Articles Volume I.)
Humanity is not without answers or solutions regarding how to liberate itself from scenarios that invariably end with mass exterminations. Tools such as compassion, trust, empathy, love, and ethical discernment are already in our possession. The next sensible step would be to use them.
Aberjhani (Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays)
We have not noticed how fast the rest has risen. Most of the industrialized world--and a good part of the nonindustrialized world as well--has better cell phone service than the United States. Broadband is faster and cheaper across the industrial world, from Canada to France to Japan, and the United States now stands sixteenth in the world in broadband penetration per capita. Americans are constantly told by their politicians that the only thing we have to learn from other countries' health care systems is to be thankful for ours. Most Americans ignore the fact that a third of the country's public schools are totally dysfunctional (because their children go to the other two-thirds). The American litigation system is now routinely referred to as a huge cost to doing business, but no one dares propose any reform of it. Our mortgage deduction for housing costs a staggering $80 billion a year, and we are told it is crucial to support home ownership, except that Margaret Thatcher eliminated it in Britain, and yet that country has the same rate of home ownership as the United States. We rarely look around and notice other options and alternatives, convinced that "we're number one.
Fareed Zakaria (The Post-American World)
First is the danger of futility; the belief there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the world's ills — against misery and ignorance, injustice and violence. Yet many of the world's great movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single man. A young monk began the Protestant reformation, a young general extended an empire from Macedonia to the borders of the earth, and a young woman reclaimed the territory of France. It was a young Italian explorer who discovered the New World, and 32-year-old Thomas Jefferson who proclaimed that all men are created equal. "Give me a place to stand," said Archimedes, "and I will move the world." These men moved the world, and so can we all.
Robert F. Kennedy
Independent study, community service, adventures and experience, large doses of privacy and solitude, a thousand different apprenticeships — the one-day variety or longer — these are all powerful, cheap, and effective ways to start a real reform of schooling. But no large-scale reform is ever going to work to repair our damaged children and our damaged society until we force open the idea of “school” to include family as the main engine of education. If we use schooling to break children away from parents — and make no mistake, that has been the central function of schools since John Cotton announced it as the purpose of the Bay Colony schools in 1650 and Horace Mann announced it as the purpose of Massachusetts schools in 1850 — we’re going to continue to have the horror show we have right now.
John Taylor Gatto (Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling)
There's a grosser irony about Politically Correct English. This is that PCE purports to be the dialect of progressive reform but is in fact--in its Orwellian substitution of the euphemisms of social equality for social equality itself--of vastly more help to conservatives and the US status quo than traditional SNOOT prescriptions ever were. Were I, for instance, a political conservative who opposed using taxation as a means of redistributing national wealth, I would be delighted to watch PC progressives spend their time and energy arguing over whether a poor person should be described as "low-income" or "economically disadvantaged" or "pre-prosperous" rather than constructing effective public arguments for redistributive legislation or higher marginal tax rates. [...] In other words, PCE acts as a form of censorship, and censorship always serves the status quo.
David Foster Wallace (Consider the Lobster and Other Essays)
...Turn our thoughts, in the next place, to the characters of learned men. The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning. Read over again all the accounts we have of Hindoos, Chaldeans, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Celts, Teutons, we shall find that priests had all the knowledge, and really governed all mankind. Examine Mahometanism, trace Christianity from its first promulgation; knowledge has been almost exclusively confined to the clergy. And, even since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate a free inquiry? The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will soon find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your legs and hands, and fly into your face and eyes. [Letters to John Taylor, 1814, XVIII, p. 484]
John Adams (The Letters of John and Abigail Adams)
For although this was a very heroic war, with a parade of every sort of high moral principle, and with the most sonorous language employed upon both sides, it somehow failed to bring about either the reformation or the ruin of humankind: and after the conclusion of the murdering and general breakage, the world went on pretty much as it has done after all other wars, with a vague notion that a deal of time and effort had been unprofitably invested, and a conviction that it would be inglorious to say so.
James Branch Cabell (Figures of Earth)
Violence never really deals with the basic evil of the situation. Violence may murder the murderer, but it doesn’t murder murder. Violence may murder the liar, but it doesn’t murder lie; it doesn’t establish truth. Violence may even murder the dishonest man, but it doesn’t murder dishonesty. Violence may go to the point of murdering the hater, but it doesn’t murder hate. It may increase hate. It is always a descending spiral leading nowhere. This is the ultimate weakness of violence: It multiplies evil and violence in the universe. It doesn’t solve any problems.
Martin Luther King Jr.
We shall, as we ripen in grace, have greater sweetness towards our fellow Christians. Bitter-spirited Christians may know a great deal, but they are immature. Those who are quick to censure may be very acute in judgment, but they are as yet very immature in heart. He who grows in grace remembers that he is but dust, and he therefore does not expect his fellow Christians to be anything more; he overlooks ten thousand of their faults, because he knows his God overlooks twenty thousand in his own case. He does not expect perfection in the creature, and, therefore, he is not disappointed when he does not find it. ... I know we who are young beginners in grace think ourselves qualified to reform the whole Christian church. We drag her before us, and condemn her straightway; but when our virtues become more mature, I trust we shall not be more tolerant of evil, but we shall be more tolerant of infirmity, more hopeful for the people of God, and certainly less arrogant in our criticisms.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Spurgeon's Sermons Vol. 1-10 (5 double volumes))
On either side of a potentially violent conflict, an opportunity exists to exercise compassion and diminish fear based on recognition of each other's humanity. Without such recognition, fear fueled by uninformed assumptions, cultural prejudice, desperation to meet basic human needs, or the panicked uncertainty of the moment explodes into violence.
Aberjhani (Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays)
Woe to us if we get our satisfaction from the food in the kitchen and the TV in the den and the sex in the bedroom with an occasional tribute to the cement blocks in the basement! God wills to be displayed and known and loved and cherished and worshiped.
John Piper
For Christians to influence the world with the truth of God's Word requires the recovery of the great Reformation doctrine of vocation. Christians are called to God's service not only in church professions but also in every secular calling. The task of restoring truth to the culture depends largely on our laypeople. To bring back truth, on a practical level, the church must encourage Christians to be not merely consumers of culture but makers of culture. The church needs to cultivate Christian artists, musicians, novelists, filmmakers, journalists, attorneys, teachers, scientists, business executives, and the like, teaching its laypeople the sense in which every secular vocation-including, above all, the callings of husband, wife, and parent--is a sphere of Christian ministry, a way of serving God and neighbor that is grounded in God's truth. Christian laypeople must be encouraged to be leaders in their fields, rather than eager-to-please followers, working from the assumptions of their biblical worldview, not the vapid clichés of pop culture.
J. Gresham Machen
Remember the perfections of that God whom you worship, that he is a Spirit, and therefore to be worshipped in spirit and truth; and that he is most great and terrible, and therefore to be worshipped with seriousness and reverence, and not to be dallied with, or served with toys or lifeless lip-service; and that he is most holy, pure, and jealous, and therefore to be purely worshipped; and that he is still present with you, and all things are naked and open to him with whom we have to do. The knowledge of God, and the remembrance of his all-seeing presence, are the most powerful means against hypocrisy.
Richard Baxter
As God delights in his own beauty, he must necessarily delight in the creature's holiness which is a conformity to and participation of it, as truly as [the] brightness of a jewel, held in the sun's beams, is a participation or derivation of the sun's brightness, though immensely less in degree.
Jonathan Edwards
Sorghum started to answer, but Wheat flew at him and knocked him down. The karpoi began to fight, dissolving into funnel clouds of grain. Hazel considered making a run for it. Then Wheat re-formed, holding Sorghum in a headlock. "Stop!" he yelled at the others. "Mulitgrain fighting is not allowed!
Rick Riordan (The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2))
Research experts want to know what can be done about the values of poor segregated children; and this is a question that needs asking. But they do not ask what can be done about the values of the people who have segregated these communities. There is no academic study of the pathological detachment of the very rich...
Jonathan Kozol (Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools)
Recovery can take place only within then context of relationships; it cannot occur in isolation. In her renewed connection with other people, the survivor re-creates the psychological facilities that were damaged or deformed by the traumatic experience. These faculties include the basic operations of trust, autonomy, initiative, competence, identity, and intimacy. Just as these capabilities are formed in relationships with other people, they must be reformed in such relationships. The first principle of recovery is empowerment of the survivor. She must be the author and arbiter of her own recovery. Others may offer advice, support, assistance, affection, and care, but not cure. Many benevolent and well-intentioned attempts to assist the survivor founder because this basic principle of empowerment is not observed. No intervention that takes power away from the survivor can possibly foster her recovery, no matter how much it appears to be in her immediate best interest.
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
Culture is an elevated expression of the inner voice which the different peoples of the Earth have heard in the depths of their being, a voice which conveys the vibrant compassion and wisdom of the cosmic life. For different cultures to engage in interaction is to catalyze each other's souls and foster mutual understanding.
Daisaku Ikeda
A crowd whose discontent has risen no higher than the level of slogans is only a crowd. But a crowd that understands the reasons for its discontent and knows the remedies is a vital community, and it will have to be reckoned with. I would rather go before the government with two people who have a competent understanding of an issue, and who therefore deserve a hearing, than with two thousand who are vaguely dissatisfied. But even the most articulate public protest is not enough. We don't live in the government or in institutions or in our public utterances and acts, and the environmental crisis has its roots in our lives. By the same token, environmental health will also be rooted in our lives. That is, I take it, simply a fact, and in the light of it we can see how superficial and foolish we would be to think that we could correct what is wrong merely by tinkering with the institutional machinery. The changes that are required are fundamental changes in the way we are living.
Wendell Berry (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays)
I no longer follow the voices of the sane. I follow the ill because they see farther, feel much more and change what the sane will not. This is the paradox of philosophers---trying to understand mass delusion among great people that have faith and knowledge, yet they can’t graduate from their institutions of religious theology to apply the knowledge they have gained for the shifting of Zion---- from words to action; from comfort to uncomfortable; from self serving to self giving; from competition to supporting; to tradition to unity; from bias to acceptance; from me to us.
Shannon L. Alder
Have you ever had a moment where you knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you were in the right place? That you were on the right journey? Maybe the sense that you’d crossed a boundary, jumped a hurdle, and somehow, after facing some unconquerable mountain, found yourself suddenly on the other side of it? When the night was warm and the wind was cool, and a song carried through the quiet streets around you. When you felt the entire world around you, and you were part of it—of the hum of it—and everything was good. Contentment, I suppose, is the simple explanation for it. But it seems more than that, thicker than that, some unity of purpose, some sense of being truly, honestly, for that moment, at home. Those moments never seem to last long enough. The song ends, the breeze stills, the worries and fears creep in again and you’re left trying to move forward, but glancing back at the mountain behind you, wondering how you managed to cross it, afraid you really didn’t—that the bulk and shadow over your shoulder might evaporate and re-form before you, and you’d be faced with the burden of crossing it again. The song ends, and you stare at the quiet, dark house in front of you, and you grasp the doorknob, and walk back into your life.
Chloe Neill
This is not to say that the point of the hard way is that we must be heroic. The attitude of "heroism" is based upon the assumption that we are bad, impure, that we are not worthy, are not ready for spiritual understanding. We must reform ourselves, be different from what we are. For instance, if we are middle class Americans, we must give up our jobs or drop out of college, move out of our suburban homes, let our hair grow, perhaps try drugs. If we are hippies, we must give up drugs, cut our hair short, throw away our torn jeans. We think that we are special, heroic, that we are turning away from temptation. We become vegetarians and we become this and that. There are so many things to become. We think our path is spiritual because it is literally against the flow of what we used to be, but it is merely the way of false heroism, and the only one who is heroic in this way is ego.
Chögyam Trungpa (Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism)
As in the political sphere, the child is taught that he is free, a democrat, with a free will and a free mind, lives in a free country, makes his own decisions. At the same time he is a prisoner of the assumptions and dogmas of his time, which he does not question, because he has never been told they exist. By the time a young person has reached the age when he has to choose (we still take it for granted that a choice is inevitable) between the arts and the sciences, he often chooses the arts because he feels that here is humanity, freedom, choice. He does not know that he is already moulded by a system: he does not know that the choice itself is the result of a false dichotomy rooted in the heart of our culture. Those who do sense this, and who don't wish to subject themselves to further moulding, tend to leave, in a half-unconscious, instinctive attempt to find work where they won't be divided against themselves. With all our institutions, from the police force to academia, from medicine to politics, we give little attention to the people who leave—that process of elimination that goes on all the time and which excludes, very early, those likely to be original and reforming, leaving those attracted to a thing because that is what they are already like. A young policeman leaves the Force saying he doesn't like what he has to do. A young teacher leaves teaching, here idealism snubbed. This social mechanism goes almost unnoticed—yet it is as powerful as any in keeping our institutions rigid and oppressive.
Doris Lessing
The Times carried detailed descriptions of Sara’s ivory gown and the five-carat blue diamond on her finger, the Cravens’ reported opinions of the play, and speculation on whether Derek was truly a “reformed rake.” “There’s not a word of truth in any of it,” Derek said. “Except the part where they said you were resplendent.” “Thank you, kind sir.” Sara set down the paper and reached over to toy with one of the large soapy feet propped on the porcelain rim of the tub. She wriggled his big toe playfully. “What about the part that says you’re reformed?” “I’m not. I still do everything I used to do…except now only with you.” “And quite impressively,” she replied, her tone demure.
Lisa Kleypas (Dreaming of You (The Gamblers of Craven's, #2))
Peace is not so much a political mandate as it is a shared state of consciousness that remains elevated and intact only to the degree that those who value it volunteer their existence as living examples of the same... Peace ends with the unraveling of individual hope and the emergence of the will to worship violence as a healer of private and social dis-ease.
Aberjhani (The American Poet Who Went Home Again)
The people thrown into other cultures go through something of the anguish of the butterfly, whose body must disintegrate and reform more than once in its life cycle. In her novel “Regeneration,” Pat Barker writes of a doctor who “knew only too well how often the early stages of change or cure may mimic deterioration. Cut a chrysalis open, and you will find a rotting caterpillar. What you will never find is that mythical creature, half caterpillar, half butterfly, a fit emblem of the human soul, for those whose cat of mind leads them to seek such emblems. No, the process of transformation consists almost entirely of decay.” But the butterfly is so fit an emblem of the human soul that its name in Greek is “psyche,” the word for soul. We have not much language to appreciate this phase of decay, this withdrawal, this era of ending that must precede beginning. Nor of the violence of the metamorphosis, which is often spoken of as though it were as graceful as a flower blooming.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
I'm not going to say I can at least collect DNA samples," he muttered, "because every time I open my mouth, the evidence disappears." With a little sigh, he watched te droplets of blood absorb into the wood and the window reform. "I have to tell you, I've seen some freaky shit around you girls, but nothing like this. I have just one question. Have you told your fiancées about this? Because quiet frankly it scares the hell out of me." "You never have to be afraid, Jonas," Hannah assured. "The house judges intent." "Hannah. Honey. Half the time my intent is to strangle you. And I don't doubt whoever ends up with Joley or Elle will want to do worse than that.
Christine Feehan (Safe Harbor (Drake Sisters, #5))
I am opposed to animal welfare campaigns for two reasons. First, if animal use cannot be morally justified, then we ought to be clear about that, and advocate for no use. Although rape and child molestation are ubiquitous, we do not have campaigns for “humane” rape or “humane” child molestation. We condemn it all. We should do the same with respect to animal exploitation. Second, animal welfare reform does not provide significant protection for animal interests. Animals are chattel property; they are economic commodities. Given this status and the reality of markets, the level of protection provided by animal welfare will generally be limited to what promotes efficient exploitation. That is, we will protect animal interests to the extent that it provides an economic benefit.
Gary L. Francione
Build your house on granite. By granite I mean your nature that you are torturing to death, the love in your child's body, your wife's dream of love, your own dream of life when you were sixteen. Exchange your illusions for a bit of truth. Throw out your politicians and diplomats! Take your destiny into your own hands and build your life on rock. Forget about your neighbor and look inside yourself! Your neighbor, too, will be grateful. Tell you're fellow workers all over the world that you're no longer willing to work for death but only for life. Instead of flocking to executions and shouting hurrah, hurrah, make a law for the protection of human life and its blessings. Such a law will be part of the granite foundation your house rests on. Protect your small children's love against the assaults of lascivious, frustrated men and women. Stop the mouth of the malignant old maid; expose her publicly or send her to a reform school instead of young people who are longing for love. Don;t try to outdo your exploiter in exploitation if you have a chance to become a boss. Throw away your swallowtails and top hat, and stop applying for a license to embrace your woman. Join forces with your kind in all countries; they are like you, for better or worse. Let your child grow up as nature (or 'God') intended. Don't try to improve on nature. Learn to understand it and protect it. Go to the library instead of the prize fight, go to foreign countries rather than to Coney Island. And first and foremost, think straight, trust the quiet inner voice inside you that tells you what to do. You hold your life in your hands, don't entrust it to anyone else, least of all to your chosen leaders. BE YOURSELF! Any number of great men have told you that.
Wilhelm Reich (Listen, Little Man!)
My faith has been tempered in Hell. My faith has emerged from the flames of the crematoria, from the concrete of the gas chamber. I have seen that it is not man who is impotent in the struggle against evil, but the power of evil that is impotent in the struggle against man. The powerlessness of kindness, of senseless kindness, is the secret of its immortality. It can never be conquered. The more stupid, the more senseless, the more helpless it may seem, the vaster it is. Evil is impotent before it. The prophets, religious teachers, reformers, social and political leaders are impotent before it. This dumb, blind love is man's meaning. Human history is not the battle of good struggling to overcome evil. It is a battle fought by a great evil struggling to crush a small kernel of human kindness. But if what is human in human beings has not been destroyed even now, then evil will never conquer.
Vasily Grossman (Life and Fate)
Between 1990 and 2005, a new prison opened in the United States every ten days. Prison growth and the resulting “prison-industrial complex”—the business interests that capitalize on prison construction—made imprisonment so profitable that millions of dollars were spent lobbying state legislators to keep expanding the use of incarceration to respond to just about any problem. Incarceration became the answer to everything—health care problems like drug addiction, poverty that had led someone to write a bad check, child behavioral disorders, managing the mentally disabled poor, even immigration issues generated responses from legislators that involved sending people to prison. Never before had so much lobbying money been spent to expand America’s prison population, block sentencing reforms, create new crime categories, and sustain the fear and anger that fuel mass incarceration than during the last twenty-five years in the United States.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
Feminists know that if women are paid equal wages for equal work, women will gain sexual as well as economic independence. But feminists have refused to face the fact that in a woman-hating social system, women will never be paid equal wages. Men in all their institutions of power are sustained by the sex labor and sexual subordination of women. The sex labor of women must be maintained; and systematic low wages for sex-neutral work effectively force women to sell sex to survive. The economic system that pays women lower wages than it pays men actually punishes women for working outside marriage or prostitution, since women work hard for low wages and still must sell sex. The economic system that punishes women for working outside the bedroom by paying low wages contributes significantly to women's perception that the sexual serving of men is a necessary part of any woman's life: or how else could she live? Feminists appear to think that equal pay for equal work is a simple reform, whereas it no reform at all; it is revolution. Feminists have refused to face the fact that equal pay for equal work is impossible as long as men rule women, and right-wing women have refused to forget it.
Andrea Dworkin
Trick-cyclist or assuager of discontents, whatever his title, the psychiatrist had now passed into history, joining the necromancers, sorcerers and other practitioners of the black sciences. The Mental Freedom legislation enacted ten years earlier by the ultraconservative UW government had banned the profession outright and enshrined the individual’s freedom to be insane if he wanted to, provided he paid the full civil consequences for any infringements of the law. That was the catch, the hidden object of the MF laws. What had begun as a popular reaction against ‘subliminal living’ and the uncontrolled extension of techniques of mass manipulation for political and economic ends had quickly developed into a systematic attack on the psychological sciences. Over-permissive courts of law with their condoning of delinquency, pseudo-enlightened penal reformers, ‘Victims of society’, the psychologist and his patient all came under fierce attack. Discharging their self-hate and anxiety onto a convenient scapegoat, the new rulers, and the great majority electing them, outlawed all forms of psychic control, from the innocent market survey to lobotomy. The mentally ill were on their own, spared pity and consideration, made to pay to the hilt for their failings. The sacred cow of the community was the psychotic, free to wander where he wanted, drooling on the doorsteps, sleeping on sidewalks, and woe betide anyone who tried to help him.
J.G. Ballard (The Complete Stories of J. G. Ballard)
How many other old enemies were in this crowd? Percy began to realize that every battle he’d ever won had only been a temporary victory. No matter how strong or lucky he was, no matter how many monsters he destroyed, Percy would eventually fail. He was only one mortal. He would get too old, too weak, or too slow. He would die. And these monsters…they lasted forever. They just kept coming back. Maybe it would take them months or years to re-form, maybe even centuries. But they would be reborn. Seeing them assembled in Tartarus, Percy felt as hopeless as the spirits in the River Cocytus. So what if he was a hero? So what if he did something brave? Evil was always here, regenerating, bubbling under the surface. Percy was no more than a minor annoyance to these immortal beings. They just had to outwait him. Someday, Percy’s sons or daughters might have to face them all over again.
Rick Riordan
Though many of my arguments will be coolly analytical — that an acknowledgment of human nature does not, logically speaking, imply the negative outcomes so many people fear — I will not try to hide my belief that they have a positive thrust as well. "Man will become better when you show him what he is like," wrote Chekhov, and so the new sciences of human nature can help lead the way to a realistic, biologically informed humanism. They expose the psychological unity of our species beneath the superficial differences of physical appearance and parochial culture. They make us appreciate the wondrous complexity of the human mind, which we are apt to take for granted precisely because it works so well. They identify the moral intuitions that we can put to work in improving our lot. They promise a naturalness in human relationships, encouraging us to treat people in terms of how they do feel rather than how some theory says they ought to feel. They offer a touchstone by which we can identify suffering and oppression wherever they occur, unmasking the rationalizations of the powerful. They give us a way to see through the designs of self-appointed social reformers who would liberate us from our pleasures. They renew our appreciation for the achievements of democracy and of the rule of law. And they enhance the insights of artists and philosophers who have reflected on the human condition for millennia.
Steven Pinker (The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature)
Our schools will not improve if we continue to focus only on reading and mathematics while ignoring the other studies that are essential elements of a good education. Schools that expect nothing more of their students than mastery of basic skills will not produce graduates who are ready for college or the modern workplace. *** Our schools will not improve if we value only what tests measure. The tests we have now provide useful information about students' progress in reading and mathematics, but they cannot measure what matters most in education....What is tested may ultimately be less important that what is untested... *** Our schools will not improve if we continue to close neighborhood schools in the name of reform. Neighborhood schools are often the anchors of their communities, a steady presence that helps to cement the bond of community among neighbors. *** Our schools cannot improve if charter schools siphon away the most motivated students and their families in the poorest communities from the regular public schools. *** Our schools will not improve if we continue to drive away experienced principals and replace them with neophytes who have taken a leadership training course but have little or no experience as teachers. *** Our schools cannot be improved if we ignore the disadvantages associated with poverty that affect children's ability to learn. Children who have grown up in poverty need extra resources, including preschool and medical care.
Diane Ravitch (The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education)
Let my silence grow with noise as pregnant mothers grow with life. Let my silence permeate these walls as sunlight permeates a home. Let the silence rise from unwatered graves and craters left by bombs. Let the silence rise from empty bellies and surge from broken hearts. The silence of the hidden and forgotten. The silence of the abused and tortured. The silence of the persecuted and imprisoned. The silence of the hanged and massacred. Loud as all the sounds can be, let my silence be loud so the hungry may eat my words and the poor may wear my words. Loud as all the sounds can be, let my silence be loud so I may resurrect the dead and give voice to the oppressed. My silence speaks.
Kamand Kojouri
أعرف أنك تجلس وأنت غارق في سوء الحال تنتظر اليوم الذي تتحقق فيه المعجزة ويتغير فيه حاكم مصر لينصلح حالها، لكن ذلك لن يحدث أبدًا طالما لم أدرك أنا وأنت أن سوء الحال نابع من سوء الأداء، لو لم يسأل كل منا نفسه عما فعله لإصلاح ما حوله أو الاعتراض عليه، لو لم يدرك كل منا أن معركته الحقيقية تبدأ من داخل بيته وأنه إذا لم ينتصر فيها أولاً فلن ننتصر في أي شيء، لو لم يدرك كل منا أن خلاصنا في تثوير القرآن وتطبيق مقاصد الإسلام قبل أشكاله، لو لم يدرك كل منا أننا لا شيء بدون الحرية والعلم وأن الحقوق تنتزع ولا توهب، وأننا سنظل مهددين بالتوربيني الصغير طالما سمحنا للتوربينات الكبار أن يرتعوا في الأرض فاسدين مكتفين بالشتيمة والسخط والكوميديا السوداء.
بلال فضل Belal Fadl (السكان الأصليين لمصر)
Slowly what she composed with the new day was her own focus, to bring together body and mind. This was made with an effort, as if all the dissolutions and dispersions of her self the night before were difficult to reassemble. She was like an actress who must compose a face, an attitude to meet the day. The eyebrow pencil was no mere charcoal emphasis on blond eyebrows, but a design necessary to balance a chaotic asymmetry. Make up and powder were not simply applied to heighten a porcelain texture, to efface the uneven swellings caused by sleep, but to smooth out the sharp furrows designed by nightmares, to reform the contours and blurred surfaces of the cheeks, to erase the contradictions and conflicts which strained the clarity of the face’s lines, disturbing the purity of its forms. She must redesign the face, smooth the anxious brows, separate the crushed eyelashes, wash off the traces of secret interior tears, accentuate the mouth as upon a canvas, so it will hold its luxuriant smile. Inner chaos, like those secret volcanoes which suddenly lift the neat furrows of a peacefully ploughed field, awaited behind all disorders of face, hair, and costume, for a fissure through which to explode. What she saw in the mirror now was a flushed, clear-eyed face, smiling, smooth, beautiful. The multiple acts of composure and artifice had merely dissolved her anxieties; now that she felt prepared to meet the day, her true beauty emerged which had been frayed and marred by anxiety.
Anaïs Nin (A Spy in the House of Love (Cities of the Interior, #4))
Before such people can act together, a kind of telepathic feeling has to flow through them and ripen to the point when they all know that they are ready to begin. Anyone who has seen the martins and swallows in September, assembling on the telephone wires, twittering, making short flights singly and in groups over the open, stubbly fields, returning to form longer and even longer lines above the yellowing verges of the lanes-the hundreds of individual birds merging and blending, in a mounting excitement, into swarms, and these swarms coming loosely and untidily together to create a great, unorganized flock, thick at the centre and ragged at the edges, which breaks and re-forms continually like clouds or waves-until that moment when the greater part (but not all) of them know that the time has come: they are off, and have begun once more that great southward flight which many will not survive; anyone seeing this has seen at the work the current that flows (among creatures who think of themselves primarily as part of a group and only secondarily, if at all, as individuals) to fuse them together and impel them into action without conscious thought or will: has seen at work the angel which drove the First Crusade into Antioch and drives the lemmings into the sea.
Richard Adams (Watership Down (Watership Down, #1))
On Rachel's show for November 7, 2012: We're not going to have a supreme court that will overturn Roe versus Wade. There will be no more Antonio Scalias and Samuel Aleatos added to this court. We're not going to repeal health reform. Nobody is going to kill medicare and make old people in this generation or any other generation fight it out on the open market to try to get health insurance. We are not going to do that. We are not going to give a 20% tax cut to millionaires and billionaires and expect programs like food stamps and kid's insurance to cover the cost of that tax cut. We'll not make you clear it with your boss if you want to get birth control under the insurance plan that you're on. We are not going to redefine rape. We are not going to amend the United States constitution to stop gay people from getting married. We are not going to double Guantanamo. We are not eliminating the Department of Energy or the Department of Education or Housing at the federal level. We are not going to spend $2 trillion on the military that the military does not want. We are not scaling back on student loans because the country's new plan is that you should borrow money from your parents. We are not vetoing the Dream Act. We are not self-deporting. We are not letting Detroit go bankrupt. We are not starting a trade war with China on Inauguration Day in January. We are not going to have, as a president, a man who once led a mob of friends to run down a scared, gay kid, to hold him down and forcibly cut his hair off with a pair of scissors while that kid cried and screamed for help and there was no apology, not ever. We are not going to have a Secretary of State John Bolton. We are not bringing Dick Cheney back. We are not going to have a foreign policy shop stocked with architects of the Iraq War. We are not going to do it. We had the chance to do that if we wanted to do that, as a country. and we said no, last night, loudly.
Rachel Maddow
If anyone attempted to rule the world by the gospel and to abolish all temporal law and sword on the plea that all are baptized and Christian, and that, according to the gospel, there shall be among them no law or sword - or need for either - pray tell me, friend, what would he be doing? He would be loosing the ropes and chains of the savage wild beasts and letting them bite and mangle everyone, meanwhile insisting that they were harmless, tame, and gentle creatures; but I would have the proof in my wounds. Just so would the wicked under the name of Christian abuse evangelical freedom, carry on their rascality, and insist that they were Christians subject neither to law nor sword, as some are already raving and ranting. To such a one we must say: Certainly it is true that Christians, so far as they themselves are concerned, are subject neither to law nor sword, and have need of neither. But take heed and first fill the world with real Christians before you attempt to rule it in a Christian and evangelical manner. This you will never accomplish; for the world and the masses are and always will be unchristian, even if they are all baptized and Christian in name. Christians are few and far between (as the saying is). Therefore, it is out of the question that there should be a common Christian government over the whole world, or indeed over a single country or any considerable body of people, for the wicked always outnumber the good. Hence, a man who would venture to govern an entire country or the world with the gospel would be like a shepherd who should put together in one fold wolves, lions, eagles, and sheep, and let them mingle freely with one another, saying, “Help yourselves, and be good and peaceful toward one another. The fold is open, there is plenty of food. You need have no fear of dogs and clubs.” The sheep would doubtless keep the peace and allow themselves to be fed and governed peacefully, but they would not live long, nor would one beast survive another. For this reason one must carefully distinguish between these two governments. Both must be permitted to remain; the one to produce righteousness, the other to bring about external peace and prevent evil deeds. Neither one is sufficient in the world without the other. No one can become righteous in the sight of God by means of the temporal government, without Christ's spiritual government. Christ's government does not extend over all men; rather, Christians are always a minority in the midst of non-Christians. Now where temporal government or law alone prevails, there sheer hypocrisy is inevitable, even though the commandments be God's very own. For without the Holy Spirit in the heart no one becomes truly righteous, no matter how fine the works he does. On the other hand, where the spiritual government alone prevails over land and people, there wickedness is given free rein and the door is open for all manner of rascality, for the world as a whole cannot receive or comprehend it.
Martin Luther (Luther and Calvin on Secular Authority (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought))
Hi there, cutie." Ash turned his head to find an extremely attractive college student by his side. With black curly hair, she was dressed in jeans and a tight green top that displayed her curves to perfection. "Hi." "You want to go inside for a drink? It's on me." Ash paused as he saw her past, present, and future simultaneously in his mind. Her name was Tracy Phillips. A political science major, she was going to end up at Harvard Med School and then be one of the leading researchers to help isolate a mutated genome that the human race didn't even know existed yet. The discovery of that genome would save the life of her youngest daughter and cause her daughter to go on to medical school herself. That daughter, with the help and guidance of her mother, would one day lobby for medical reforms that would change the way the medical world and governments treated health care. The two of them would shape generations of doctors and save thousands of lives by allowing people to have groundbreaking medical treatments that they wouldn't have otherwise been able to afford. And right now, all Tracy could think about was how cute his ass was in leather pants, and how much she'd like to peel them off him. In a few seconds, she'd head into the coffee shop and meet a waitress named Gina Torres. Gina's dream was to go to college herself to be a doctor and save the lives of the working poor who couldn't afford health care, but because of family problems she wasn't able to take classes this year. Still Gina would tell Tracy how she planned to go next year on a scholarship. Late tonight, after most of the college students were headed off, the two of them would be chatting about Gina's plans and dreams. And a month from now, Gina would be dead from a freak car accident that Tracy would see on the news. That one tragic event combined with the happenstance meeting tonight would lead Tracy to her destiny. In one instant, she'd realize how shallow her life had been, and she'd seek to change that and be more aware of the people around her and of their needs. Her youngest daughter would be named Gina Tory in honor of the Gina who was currently busy wiping down tables while she imagined a better life for everyone. So in effect, Gina would achieve her dream. By dying she'd save thousands of lives and she'd bring health care to those who couldn't afford it... The human race was an amazing thing. So few people ever realized just how many lives they inadvertently touched. How the right or wrong word spoken casually could empower or destroy another's life. If Ash were to accept Tracy's invitation for coffee, her destiny would be changed and she would end up working as a well-paid bank officer. She'd decide that marriage wasn't for her and go on to live her life with a partner and never have children. Everything would change. All the lives that would have been saved would be lost. And knowing the nuance of every word spoken and every gesture made was the heaviest of all the burdens Ash carried. Smiling gently, he shook his head. "Thanks for asking, but I have to head off. You have a good night." She gave him a hot once-over. "Okay, but if you change your mind, I'll be in here studying for the next few hours." Ash watched as she left him and entered the shop. She set her backpack down at a table and started unpacking her books. Sighing from exhaustion, Gina grabbed a glass of water and made her way over to her... And as he observed them through the painted glass, the two women struck up a conversation and set their destined futures into motion. His heart heavy, he glanced in the direction Cael had vanished and hated the future that awaited his friend. But it was Cael's destiny. His fate... "Imora thea mi savur," Ash whispered under his breath in Atlantean. God save me from love.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark Side of the Moon (Dark-Hunter, #9; Were-Hunter, #3))
There are six canons of conservative thought: 1) Belief in a transcendent order, or body of natural law, which rules society as well as conscience. Political problems, at bottom, are religious and moral problems. A narrow rationality, what Coleridge called the Understanding, cannot of itself satisfy human needs. "Every Tory is a realist," says Keith Feiling: "he knows that there are great forces in heaven and earth that man's philosophy cannot plumb or fathom." True politics is the art of apprehending and applying the Justice which ought to prevail in a community of souls. 2) Affection for the proliferating variety and mystery of human existence, as opposed to the narrowing uniformity, egalitarianism, and utilitarian aims of most radical systems; conservatives resist what Robert Graves calls "Logicalism" in society. This prejudice has been called "the conservatism of enjoyment"--a sense that life is worth living, according to Walter Bagehot "the proper source of an animated Conservatism." 3) Conviction that civilized society requires orders and classes, as against the notion of a "classless society." With reason, conservatives have been called "the party of order." If natural distinctions are effaced among men, oligarchs fill the vacuum. Ultimate equality in the judgment of God, and equality before courts of law, are recognized by conservatives; but equality of condition, they think, means equality in servitude and boredom. 4) Persuasion that freedom and property are closely linked: separate property from private possession, and Leviathan becomes master of all. Economic levelling, they maintain, is not economic progress. 5) Faith in prescription and distrust of "sophisters, calculators, and economists" who would reconstruct society upon abstract designs. Custom, convention, and old prescription are checks both upon man's anarchic impulse and upon the innovator's lust for power. 6) Recognition that change may not be salutary reform: hasty innovation may be a devouring conflagration, rather than a torch of progress. Society must alter, for prudent change is the means of social preservation; but a statesman must take Providence into his calculations, and a statesman's chief virtue, according to Plato and Burke, is prudence.
Russell Kirk (The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot)
New Rule: Just because a country elects a smart president doesn't make it a smart country. A couple of weeks ago, I was asked on CNN if I thought Sarah Palin could get elected president, and I said I hope not, but I wouldn't put anything past this stupid country. Well, the station was flooded with emails, and the twits hit the fan. And you could tell that these people were really mad, because they wrote entirely in CAPITAL LETTERS!!! Worst of all, Bill O'Reilly refuted my contention that this is a stupid country by calling me a pinhead, which (a) proves my point, and (b) is really funny coming from a doody-face like him. Now, before I go about demonstration how, sadly, easy it is to prove the dumbness that's dragging us down, let me just say that ignorance has life-and-death consequences. On the eve of the Iraq War, seventy percent of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was personally involved in 9/11. Six years later, thirty-four percent still do. Or look at the health-care debate: At a recent town hall meeting in South Carolina, a man stood up and told his congressman to "keep your government hands off my Medicare," which is kind of like driving cross-country to protest highways. This country is like a college chick after two Long Island iced teas: We can be talked into anything, like wars, and we can be talked out of anything, like health care. We should forget the town halls, and replace them with study halls. Listen to some of these stats: A majority of Americans cannot name a single branch of government, or explain what the Bill of Rights is. Twenty-four percent could not name the country America fought in the Revolutionary War. More than two-thirds of Americans don't know what's in Roe v. Wade. Two-thirds don't know what the Food and Drug Administration does. Some of this stuff you should be able to pick up simply by being alive. You know, like the way the Slumdog kid knew about cricket. Not here. Nearly half of Americans don't know that states have two senators, and more than half can't name their congressman. And among Republican governors, only three got their wife's name right on the first try. People bitch and moan about taxes and spending, but they have no idea what their government spends money on. The average voter thinks foreign aid consumes more twenty-four percent of our budget. It's actually less than one percent. A third of Republicans believe Obama is not a citizen ad a third of Democrats believe that George Bush had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, which is an absurd sentence, because it contains the words "Bush" and "knowledge." Sarah Palin says she would never apologize for America. Even though a Gallup poll say eighteen percent of us think the sun revolves around the earth. No, they're not stupid. They're interplanetary mavericks. And I haven't even brought up religion. But here's one fun fact I'll leave you with: Did you know only about half of Americans are aware that Judaism is an older religion than Christianity? That's right, half of America looks at books called the Old Testament and the New Testament and cannot figure out which came first. I rest my case.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
Almost as an article of faith, some individuals believe that conspiracies are either kooky fantasies or unimportant aberrations. To be sure, wacko conspiracy theories do exist. There are people who believe that the United States has been invaded by a secret United Nations army equipped with black helicopters, or that the country is secretly controlled by Jews or gays or feminists or black nationalists or communists or extraterrestrial aliens. But it does not logically follow that all conspiracies are imaginary. Conspiracy is a legitimate concept in law: the collusion of two or more people pursuing illegal means to effect some illegal or immoral end. People go to jail for committing conspiratorial acts. Conspiracies are a matter of public record, and some are of real political significance. The Watergate break-in was a conspiracy, as was the Watergate cover-up, which led to Nixon’s downfall. Iran-contra was a conspiracy of immense scope, much of it still uncovered. The savings and loan scandal was described by the Justice Department as “a thousand conspiracies of fraud, theft, and bribery,” the greatest financial crime in history. Often the term “conspiracy” is applied dismissively whenever one suggests that people who occupy positions of political and economic power are consciously dedicated to advancing their elite interests. Even when they openly profess their designs, there are those who deny that intent is involved. In 1994, the officers of the Federal Reserve announced they would pursue monetary policies designed to maintain a high level of unemployment in order to safeguard against “overheating” the economy. Like any creditor class, they preferred a deflationary course. When an acquaintance of mine mentioned this to friends, he was greeted skeptically, “Do you think the Fed bankers are deliberately trying to keep people unemployed?” In fact, not only did he think it, it was announced on the financial pages of the press. Still, his friends assumed he was imagining a conspiracy because he ascribed self-interested collusion to powerful people. At a World Affairs Council meeting in San Francisco, I remarked to a participant that U.S. leaders were pushing hard for the reinstatement of capitalism in the former communist countries. He said, “Do you really think they carry it to that level of conscious intent?” I pointed out it was not a conjecture on my part. They have repeatedly announced their commitment to seeing that “free-market reforms” are introduced in Eastern Europe. Their economic aid is channeled almost exclusively into the private sector. The same policy holds for the monies intended for other countries. Thus, as of the end of 1995, “more than $4.5 million U.S. aid to Haiti has been put on hold because the Aristide government has failed to make progress on a program to privatize state-owned companies” (New York Times 11/25/95). Those who suffer from conspiracy phobia are fond of saying: “Do you actually think there’s a group of people sitting around in a room plotting things?” For some reason that image is assumed to be so patently absurd as to invite only disclaimers. But where else would people of power get together – on park benches or carousels? Indeed, they meet in rooms: corporate boardrooms, Pentagon command rooms, at the Bohemian Grove, in the choice dining rooms at the best restaurants, resorts, hotels, and estates, in the many conference rooms at the White House, the NSA, the CIA, or wherever. And, yes, they consciously plot – though they call it “planning” and “strategizing” – and they do so in great secrecy, often resisting all efforts at public disclosure. No one confabulates and plans more than political and corporate elites and their hired specialists. To make the world safe for those who own it, politically active elements of the owning class have created a national security state that expends billions of dollars and enlists the efforts of vast numbers of people.
Michael Parenti (Dirty Truths)