January 13, 2014

Quotes from the past

Back when I was in college I collected quotes. It feels very much a college thing to do: to use other people's words to explain who you are. I was beginning to look beyond my walls, to explore a far larger world than New Albany, and I wanted to know with whom - with which great thinkers - I was going to align myself.

I included these quotes in my teacher education portfolio, at which every intereviewer would allegedly (but not really) look, or so my professors told me. I printed the quotes out and made them into a bulletin board. I saved them into a Word file that's been following me around, stored on computer after computer for nearly twenty years now.

I haven't looked at the quotes in a long while now, and I don't know that every one agrees with who I am so much as who I was or at least who I wanted to be.
  • “ Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation.  The foundation for such a method is love.” - Martin Luther King, Jr. - December 11, 1964
  • “ L’amor che mouve il sole e l’altre stelle. “ - Dante Alighieri
  • “ A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous. “ - Ingrid Bergmen
  • “ What you do speaks so loud that  I cannot hear what you say.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “ Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.” - Leonardo da Vinci
  • “ Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions.  You may have a heart of gold - but so does a hard-boiled egg.” - anonymous
  • “ The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” - Eden Phillpotts
  • “ What is life?  It is the flash of a firefly in the night.  It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.  It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.” - Crowfoot
  • “ A thermonuclear war cannot be considered a continuation of politics by other means.  It would be a means to universal suicide.” - Andrei D. Sakharov
  • “ An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.” - Victor Hug
  • “ First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out,
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out,

    Because I was not a Communist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists and I did not speak out,
    Because I was not a Trade Unionists.

    Then they came for me,

    And there was no one left to speak for me.”

    - Pastor Neimoeller (Nazi Victim)
  • “ I may not agree with a word you say, but I shall defend unto my death your right to say it.” - Voltaire
  • “ You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” - Robert Zimmerman
  • “ Good and evil both increase at compound interest.  That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance.” - C.S. Lewis
  • “ Love your life, poor as it is.  You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poorhouse.  The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the almshouse as brightly as from the rich man’s abode.” - Henry David Thoreau
  • “ Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did.  Do throws off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover.” - Mark Twain
  • “ Avoid what is evil; do what is good; purify the mind - this is the teaching of the Awakened One [Buddha].” - The Pali Canon
  • “ The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot.” - Mark Twain
  • “ The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that is the essence of inhumanity.” - George Bernard Shaw
  • “ Lord, what fools these mortals be!” - Puck - Midsummer-Night’s Dream
  • “ Human subtlety...will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does nature, because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous.” - Leonardo da Vinci
  • “ To waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.” - Theodore Roosevelt
  • “ From the intrinsic evidence of his creation, the Great Architect of the Universes now begins to appear as a pure mathematician.” - Sir James Hopwood Jeans
  • “ There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.” - George Bernard Shaw
  • “ Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” - Malcolm Forbes
  • “ One impulse from a vernal wood
    May teach you more of man,

    Of moral evil and of good,

    Than all the sages can.” - William Wordsworth
  •   Thou hast most traitorously corrupted the youth of the realm in erecting a grammerschool; and whereas, before, our forefathers had no other books but the score and the tally, thou hast caused printing to be used; and, contrary to the king, his crown, and dignity, thou hast built a paper mill.” - Henry VI, Part II - Shakespeare
  • “ All of us can think of a book...that we hope none of our children or any other children have taken off the shelf.  But if I have the right to remove that book from the shelf - that work I abhor - then you also have exactly the same right and so does everyone else.  And then we have no books left on the shelf for any of us.” - Katherine Paterson
  • “ Use the talents you possess for the woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except for the best.” - unknown
  • “ In some sort of crude sense which no vulgarity, no humor, no overstatement can quite extinguish, the physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose” - J Robert Oppenheimer
  • “ Science is built up of facts, as a house is of stones.  But a collection of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house.” - Jules Henri Poincare
  • “ Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe.  I dispute that.  I say that there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe.” - Frank Zappa
  • “ The plow is one of the most ancient and valuable of man’s inventions, but long before he existed the land was in fact regularly plowed, and still continues to be thus plowed by earthworms.  It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world, as these lowly organized creatures.” - The Formation of Vegetable Mold Through the Actions of Worms - Charles Darwin
  • “ Had I been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.” - Alfonso the Wise
  • “ Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;

    All mimsy were the borogroves,

    And the mome raths outgrabe.
    Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

    Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  •    The frumious Bandersnatch!” - Lewis Carroll
  • “ Golden teeth and golden tones, welcome to my presence!” - Dr. Teeth - The Muppet Movie
  • “ When I am playful I use the meridians of longitude and parallels of latitude for a seine, and drag the Atlantic Ocean for whales.  I scratch my head with lightning and purr myself to sleep with the thunder.” - Life on the Mississippi - Mark Twain
  • “ One food for the rest of my life?  That’s easy - cherry Pez.  Cherry-flavored Pez.  There’s no doubt about it.” - Vern Tessio - Stand By Me
  • “ Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I’m delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever.” - Baron Munchausen
  • “ Be happy while you’re living, for you’re a long time dead.” - Scottish proverb
  • “ Life’s like a movie / Write your own ending.” - Kermit - The Muppet Movie
  • “ There’s someone out there for everyone- even if you need a pickax, a compass, and night goggles to find them.” - Harris T Telemacher - LA Story
  • “ One word frees us from all the weight and pain of life: the word is love.” - Sophocles
  • “ Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.” - Henry David Thoreau
  • “ What most people need to learn in life is how to love people and use things instead of using people and loving things.” - unknown
  • “ And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count.  It’s the life in your years.” - Abraham Lincoln
  • “ Man is a successful animal, that’s all.” - Remy de Gourmont
  • “ Man seems to be a rickety sort of thing, any way you take him; a kind of British Museum of infirmities and inferiorities.  He is always undergoing repairs.  A machine that was as unreliable as he is would have no market.” - Mark Twain
  • “ Let us give Nature a chance; she knows her business better than we do.” - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
  • “ If cattle and horses, or lions, had hands, or were able to draw with their feet and produce the works which men do, horses would draw the forms of gods like horses, and cattle, and they would make the gods’ bodies the same shape as their own.” - Xenophanes
  • “ Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you a car.” - Laurence J. Peter
  • “ Operationally, God is beginning to resemble not a ruler but the last fading smile of a cosmic Cheshire cat.” - Sir Julian Huxley
  • “ Friends do not live in harmony, as some say, but in melody.” - Henry David Thoreau
  • “ What is a friend?  A single soul dwelling in two bodies.” - Aristotle
  • “ Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run.” - Mark Twain
  • “ Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day.
    Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” - Chinese proverb
  • “ A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.” - Thomas Carruthers
  • “ True science teaches, above all, to doubt and be ignorant.” - Miguel de Unamuno
  • “ The science of one age becomes the superstition of the next.” - George Lyman Kittredge
  • “ But then they danced down the street like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’” - Jack Kerouac
  • “ We Americans live in a nation where the medical system is second to none in the world, unless you count maybe 25 or 30 little scuzball countries like Scotland that we could vaporize in seconds if we felt like it.” - Dave Barry
  • “If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.  As it stands, We have allowed this to happen to ourselves.”  - Glenn Seaborg
  • “ It is an unfortunate fact, borne out by research and much anectdotal experience, that by the time they reach high school, most students have already decided whether or not they like chemistry, and whether or not they are good at it.”  - Glenn Seaborg   
I don't know what to say about all these quotes, so...um...now they're saved for me.

You know...just in case...

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