Quotations for 2014

The world is a pretty challenging place these days – more so by the day, perhaps, even? Inspiring quotations seem to help me get through. I hope they’ll help you too!  An obsessive quotation collector for many years now, I offer a short list of some of my strong favourites. Bear in mind, with a 106-page Word document chockfull of great ones to choose from, it’s not easy for me to create a short list. 

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Talk – Action = Zero ……… ad in Jan/Feb. 2009 ‘Watershed Sentinel’ magazine

Activism is the rent I pay for living on this planet.” – Alice Walker 

“Your silence will not protect you.” – Audre LordeSister Outsider: Essays and Speeches 

“It’s one of the secrets of the world. We all have the key to one another’s locks. But until we start to talk, we don’t know it.” – Michael Silverblatt, host of KCRW’s ‘Bookworm’ radio show

“In our daily lives, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but the gratefulness that makes us happy.” – Albert Clarke, quoted in Speak Peace in a World of Conflict – What You Say Next Will Change Your World, by Marshall B. Rosenberg [more gratitude quotes]

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” – Mark Twain [more MT quotes]

“A book should serve as an axe for the frozen sea within us.” – Franz Kafka 

“A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.” – Paul Dudley White, physician (1886-1973) [more walking quotes] 

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”  – Dr. Martin Luther King, 1929-1968 [more MLK quotes]

“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.” – Joseph Campbell [more JC quotes]

“E.L. Doctorow once said that ‘writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’ You don’t have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you. This is right up there with the best advice about writing, or life, I have ever heard.” ~ Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird – Some Instructions on Writing & Life

“Two centuries of philosophers stand in opposition to the modern American recipe for happiness and fulfillment. You can’t buy your way in. You can’t amuse yourself in. You can’t even expect falling in love to deliver you. The most promising way to happiness is, perhaps, through creativity, through literally creating a fulfilling life for yourself by identifying some unique talent or passion and devoting a good part of your energy to it, forever.” ~ Kalle Lasn/Bruce Grierson in Utne Reader

“The Psychotherapeutic Value of Activism: Psychologist James Hillman says that taking action to correct social and economic injustice in the world can serve as powerful psychotherapy. In some cases, it may even be a more effective way to transmute one’s personal pain than talking about the pain with a therapist.” – from Pronoia is the Antidote for Paranoia, by Rob Brezsny

“A study by psychologists at the University of Sussex in Great Britain has found that taking part in campaigns, demonstrations, strikes, and protests is good for you. Interviews with activists revealed that participants experienced a deep sense of happiness and even euphoria in being involved in protest events.” – quoted in Pronoia is the Antidote for Paranoia, by Rob Brezsny

“I do not want to talk about what you understand about this world. I want to know what you will do about it. I do not want to know what you hope. I want to know what you will work for. I do not want your sympathy for the needs of humanity. I want your muscle.” ~ Robert Fulghum 

WHOSE JOB IS IT?

This is a story about four people named EVERYBODY, SOMEBODY, ANYBODY and NOBODY. There was an important job to be done and EVERYBODY was asked to do it.  EVERYBODY was sure SOMEBODY would do it, but NOBODY did it. SOMEBODY got angry about that because it was EVERYBODY’s job. EVERYBODY thought ANYBODY could do it but NOBODY realized that EVERYBODY wouldn’t do it. It ended up that EVERYBODY blamed SOMEBODY when NOBODY did what ANYBODY could have done.

“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.” – Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth – Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

“It is not a sign of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society.” – J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986) 

“Only when the last tree has died...and the last river has been poisoned...and the last fish has been caught...will we realize that we cannot eat money.” ~ 19th century Cree saying

“What’s important is not what’s gone, but what remains.” ~ from the film ‘Home: A Hymn for the Planet

Brenda Ueland on creativity:  “Why should we all use our creative power? … Because there is nothing that makes people so generous, joyful, lively, bold and compassionate, so indifferent to fighting and the accumulation of objects and money.” – Brenda Ueland (American writer, 1891-1985)

“After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on – have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear – what remains? Nature remains." – Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Plato, Greek author & philosopher in Athens (427 B.C. – 347 B.C.)

“Your wealth is where your friends are.” – Plato

“Hoard each joyous moment that comes to you. No one knows how it will all end.” – Háfiz

“Be truthful, gentle and fearless.” – Gandhi

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” – Albert Einstein [more Einstein quotes]

“Just to live is holy. To be is a blessing.” – Rabbi Abraham Heschel

“4 Rules for Life: Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. Don’t be attached to the results.” -- Angeles Arrien, U.S. teacher, author (1940 – )

“Truth is the only safe ground to stand on.” Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.” – Rumi

“What lies behind us and what lies ahead are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson [more Emerson quotes]

“Each day we are born again to start our life anew. What we do today is what matters most.” ~ Buddha

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it’s the only thing.” – Albert Schweitzer

** many categories of great quotations collected under the heading ‘Quotation Central!’ Check ‘em out!