That charity which longs to publish itself ceases to be charity.

Eliza Cook
Eliza Cook (1818-1889) English author and poet
“Diamond Dust,” Eliza Cook’s Journal, # 90 (18 Jan 1851)
    (Source)
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We were entrusted to one another, in the days which mattered, Clare thought. Entrusted to one another by chance, not choice. Chance, and its agents time and place. Chance is better than choice; it is more lordly. In its carelessness it is more lordly. Chance is God, choice is man. You — she thought, looking at the bed — chanced not chose to want us again.

Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973) Irish author
The Little Girls, ch. 7 (1964)
    (Source)

Quoted, in abbreviated form, in the foreword to her Pictures and Conversations (1975):

Chance is better than choice; it is more lordly. Chance is God, choice is man.
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What has ever been granted to the countless millions of workers of Earth without a fight? Czar Nicholas has discovered that he is not all Russia. Will he “let the voice of the people be heard”? Was it argument or force that changed Czar Nicholas’s mind? Well , the Russian people have gotten the thin edge of the wedge in; let them keep striking hard, they will split the throne after a while.

Lucy Parsons
Lucy Parsons (1851-1942) American labor organizer, anarchist, orator [a.k.a. Lucy Gonzalez]
“On Revolution in Russia and Chinese Use of the Boycott,” The Liberator (3 Sep 1905)
    (Source)
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The person who can bring the spirit of laughter into a room is indeed blessed.

Bennett Cerf (1898-1971) American publisher, humorist
(Attributed)
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The uncommitted life is not worth living. We either believe in something or we don’t. Commitment is willingness to stand up and be counted. It is a human must — for young and old, for black and white, for Christian, Moslem and Buddhist. It is skill plus good will. It is a thoughtful decision on the part of an individual to participate passionately in the events of his time. It is the dogged staying-power coupled with the sensible idealism that makes the word go ’round.

William G Saltonstall
William Saltonstall (1905-1989) American educator and writer
“Commitment — To What? Why?” speech, School of International Training for Homecoming (Feb 1963)
    (Source)

Speech to parents hosting foreign students. The opening lines are often misattributed to Pearl S. Buck. See also Socrates.
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Democratic citizenship requires a degree of empathy, insight, and kindness that demands a great deal of all of us. There are easier ways to live.

Jason Stanley (b. 1969) American philosopher, epistemologist, academic
How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them, ch. 10 (2018)
    (Source)
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It’s the problem with politics. Your enemies are often your allies. And vice versa.

Daniel Abraham
Daniel Abraham (b. 1969) American writer [pseud. James S. A. Corey (with Ty Franck), M. L. N. Hanover]
Leviathan Wakes, ch. 19 (2011) [with Ty Franck]
    (Source)
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The rules are simple: they lie to us, we know they’re lying, they know we know they’re lying but they keep lying anyway, and we keep pretending to believe them.

Elena Gorokhova
Elena Gorokhova (b. 1955) Russo-American novelist, linguist, educator
A Mountain of Crumbs: A Memoir, ch. 13 (2010)
    (Source)

On the relationship between the Soviet government and media and the Soviet people. Sometimes attributed to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
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There is no sin punished more implacably by nature than the sin of resistance to change. For change is the very essence of living matter. To resist change is to sin against life itself.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906-2001) American writer, pilot
The Wave of the Future (1940)
    (Source)
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Aghast, astonish’d, and struck dumb with fear,
I stood; like bristles rose my stiffen’d hair.

[Obstupui, steteruntque comae, et vox faucibus haesit.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
The Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 2, l. 774ff (2.774) [Aeneas] (29-19 BC) [tr. Dryden (1697)]
    (Source)

Confronting his wife's ghost. (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

I stood aghast! my hair rose on end, and my voice clung to my jaws.
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

I stood appall'd, my hair erect,
And fear my tongue-tied utterance checked.
[tr. Conington (1866)]

Aghast I stood, with hair
Erect: my voice clung to my throat.
[tr. Cranch (1872), ll. 1041-42]

I was motionless; my hair stood up, and the accents faltered on my tongue.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

I stood amazed, my hair rose up, nor from my jaws would pass
My frozen voice.
[tr. Morris (1900)]

Aghast I stood, tongue-tied, with stiffening hair.
[tr. Taylor (1907), st. 104, l. 935]

I quailed, my hair rose, and I gasped for fear.
[tr. Williams (1910)]

I was appalled, my hair stood up, and the voice clave to my throat.
[tr. Fairclough (1916)]

I was appalled: my hair stood on end, and my voice struck
In my throat.
[tr. Day Lewis (1952)]

I was dismayed;
my hair stood stiff, my voice held fast within
my jaws.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), ll. 1043-45]

Chilled to the marrow, could feel the hair
On my head rise, the voice clot in my throat.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981), ll. 1004-5]

I was paralyzed. My hair stood on end. My voice stuck in my throat.
[tr. West (1990)]

I was transfixed,
My hair stood on end, and my voice choked.
[tr. Lombardo (2005), ll. 913-14]

I froze. My hackles bristled, voice choked in my throat.
[tr. Fagles (2006), l. 960]

I was aghast. My hair stood up, my voice stuck in my throat.
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

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If modern technology and all the tendencies of modern society make nationalism illogical, why does it persist?

You might as well ask why racism flourishes in the face of scientific evidence that there are no real differences between the races, or why Protestantism and Catholicism remain separate when the differences between them can be detected only by theologians. Such things are deeply rooted in the psychology of man. When you’re raised to believe in the superiority of your own country, it’s very difficult to rid yourself of the belief. There are, of course, practical advantages to national organization, and out of these loyalties develop. There’s no reason in and of itself why other institutions should not attract comparable loyalties , but so far they have not. I’m not at all sure they’d be any better.

Henry Steele Commager (1902-1998) American historian, writer, activist
“Conversations with Historians,” interview by John A. Garraty, American Heritage (Feb 1970)
    (Source)

Excerpted from Interpreting American History: Conversations with Historians, Part 1, ch. 4 (1970).
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“What do you think is going on, anyway?”

Some horrible Wagnerian thing, I told him, full of blood, thunder, and death for us all.

“Oh, the usual,” Luke said.

Exactly, I replied.

Roger Zelazny (1937-1995) American writer
“Coming to a Cord,” Pirate Writings, #7 [Frakir] (1995)
    (Source)
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And that this is the Case very often, we may observe from the Behaviour of some of the most zealous for Orthodoxy, who have often great Friendships and Intimacies with vicious immoral Men, provided they do but agree with them in the same Scheme of Belief.

Joseph Addison (1672-1719) English essayist, poet, statesman
The Spectator, #185 (2 Oct 1711)
    (Source)
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Thinking is difficult, therefore let the herd pronounce judgment!

Carl Jung (1875-1961) Swiss psychologist
Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies, ch. 2 (1959) [tr. Hull]
    (Source)

The motto of the "relatively unconscious man" who "clings to the commonplace, the obvious, the probable, the collectively valid." Reprinted in the The Collected Works of C.G. Jung - Civilization in Transition, vol. 10, ¶ 653.

Probable source of the frequently-attributed (but unfound) "Thinking is difficult. That's why most people judge."
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John Quincy Adams is well, sir; quite well, I thank you. But the house in which he lives at the present time is becoming dilapidated. It’s tottering upon its foundations. Time and the seasons have nearly destroyed it. Its roof is pretty well worn out. Its walls are much shattered and tremble with every wind. The old tenement is becoming almost uninhabitable, and I think John Quincy Adams will have to move out of it soon. But he himself is quite well, sir; quite well.

John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) US President (1825-29)
(Attributed)
    (Source)

When, at eighty years old, he was asked by a passer-by on the street, "How is John Quincy Adams today?" The anecdote is found with some frequency c. 1900, about fifty years after Adams' death in 1848, at that age.
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You imply our education is of no use to you in after life. But no education is. We are not an employment agency; all we can do is to give you a grounding in the art of mixing with your fellow men, to tell you what to expect from life and give you an outward manner and inward poise, an old prescription from the eighteenth century which we call a classical education, an education which confers the infrequent virtues of good sense and good taste and the benefit of dual nationality, English and Mediterranean, and which, taking into account the difficulties of modern life, we find the philosophy best able to overcome them.

Cyril Connolly (1903-1974) English intellectual, literary critic and writer.
Enemies of Promise, Part 3, ch. 24 “Vale” (1938)
    (Source)

Speaking as a personified Eton College.
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We’re stronger because we’re democracies. We’re not afraid of free and fair elections, because true legitimacy can only come from one source — and that is the people. We’re not afraid of an independent judiciary, because no one is above the law. We’re not afraid of a free press or vibrant debate or a strong civil society, because leaders must be held accountable. We’re not afraid to let our young people go online to learn and discover and organize , because we know that countries are more successful when citizens are free to think for themselves.

Barack Obama (b. 1961) American politician, US President (2009-2017)
Speech, Nordea Concert Hall, Tallinn, Estonia (3 Sep 2014)
    (Source)
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If we are to lend credence to our mourning, there are acknowledgements that must be made now, albeit belatedly. We must act on the altogether proper assumption that Martin Luther King asked for nothing but that which was his due. He demanded no special concessions, no favored leg up the ladder for his people, despite our impatience with his lifelong prodding of our collective conscience. He asked only for equality, and it is that which we denied him.

We must look beyond riots in the streets to the essential righteousness of what he asked of us. To do less would make his dying as senseless as our own living would be inconsequential.

Rod Serling (1924-1975) American screenwriter, playwright, television producer, narrator
Letter to the Editor, Los Angeles Times (8 Apr 1968)
    (Source)

Reprinted in Anne Serling, As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling (2013).
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Pride is not a wise counselor. People who believe themselves to be the incarnation of good have a distorted view of the world. The absence of any obstacle to the deployment of strength is dangerous for the strong themselves: passion takes precedence over reason. “No power without limit can be legitimate,” as Montesquieu wrote long ago. Political wisdom does not consist in seeking only immediate victory, nor does it require systematic preference of “us” over “them.”

Tzvetan Todorov
Tzvetan Todorov (1939-2017) Bulgarian-French historian, philosopher, literary critic, sociologist
Hope and Memory: Reflections on the Twentieth Century, Preface to the English edition (2003)
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Once the product’s task is known, design the interface first; then implement to the interface design.

Jef Raskin
Jef Raskin (1943-2005) American computer scientist, writer
The Humane Interface, 1-5 (2000)
    (Source)
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Reasonable minds can disagree about how to apply the Religion Clauses in a given case. But the goal of the Clauses is clear: to carry out the Founders’ plan of preserving religious liberty to the fullest extent possible in a pluralistic society. By enforcing the Clauses, we have kept religion a matter for the individual conscience, not for the prosecutor or bureaucrat. At a time when we see around the world the violent consequences of the assumption of religious authority by government, Americans may count themselves fortunate: Our regard for constitutional boundaries has protected us from similar travails, while allowing private religious exercise to flourish. […] Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must therefore answer a difficult question: Why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly?

Sandra Day O'Connor
Sandra Day O'Connor (b. 1930) American attorney, politician, Supreme Court justice (1981-2006)
McCreary County v. American Civil Liberties Union, 545 U.S. 844 (2005) (concurring)
    (Source)
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Because we are the cause of our environmental problems, we are the ones in control of them, and we can choose or not choose to stop causing them and start solving them. The future is up for grabs, lying in our own hands. We don’t need new technologies to solve our problems; while new technologies can make some contribution, for the most part we “just” need the political will to apply solutions already available.

Jared Diamond
Jared Diamond (b. 1937) American geographer, historian, ornithologist, author
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, Part 4, ch. 16 (2005)
    (Source)
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Politeness is prudence and consequently rudeness is folly. To make enemies by being wantonly and unnecessarily rude is as crazy as setting one’s house on fire.

[Höflichkeit ist Klugheit; folglich ist Unhöflichkeit Dummheit: sich mittelst ihrer unnötiger und mutwilliger Weise Feinde machen ist Raserei, wie wenn man sein Haus in Brand steckt.]

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) German philosopher
Parerga and Paralipomena, Vol. 1, “Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life [Aphorismen zur Lebensweisheit],” “Counsels and Maxims [Paränesen und Maximen],” ch. C, § 36 (1851) [tr. Payne (1974)]
    (Source)

Source (German). Alternate translation:

It is a wise thing to be polite; consequently, it is a stupid thing to be rude. To make enemies by unnecessary and willful incivility, is just as insane a proceeding as to set your house on fire.
[tr. Saunders (1890)]

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Only Truth can give true reputation: only reality can be of real profit. One deceit needs many others and so the whole house is built in the air and must soon come to the ground.

[Sola la verdad puede dar reputación verdadera, y la substancia entra en provecho. Un embeleco ha menester otros muchos, y así toda la fábrica es quimera, y como se funda en el aire es preciso venir a tierra.]

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658) Spanish Jesuit priest, writer, philosopher
The Art of Worldly Wisdom [Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia], § 175 (1647) [tr. Jacobs (1892)]
    (Source)

(Source (Spanish)). Alternate translation:

Only the truth can give you a true reputation, and only substance is profitable. One act of deceit begets many others, and soon the whole ghastly construction, which is founded in the air, comes tumbling down.
[tr. Maurer (1992)]

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The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages.

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) English modernist writer [b. Adeline Virginia Stephen]
“An Unwritten Novel” (1920)
    (Source)
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It isn’t for the moment you are struck that you need courage, but for the long uphill climb back to sanity and faith and security.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906-2001) American writer, pilot
Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead: Diaries and Letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 27 Sep 1932 (1973)
    (Source)
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To me are bedroom joys revealed,
Enjoy at will, my lips are sealed.

[Dulcis conscia lectuli lucerna,
Quidquid vis facias licet, tacebo.]

Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 14, epigram 39 (14.39) “A Bedside Lamp [Lucerna cubicularis]” [tr. Whigham (1987)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Privy to nocturnal glee;
Nought I say, of all I see.
[tr. Elphinston (1782), "The Chamber-Lamp," Book 11, ep. 17]

I am a night-lamp, privy to the pleasures of the couch; do whatever you please, I shall be silent.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859), "A Night-Lamp"]

I am a lamp, privy to the pleasures of your couch: you may do what you will, I shall be silent.
[tr. Ker (1920), "A Bedroom Lamp"]

A lamp am I, aware of your joy in bed:
Do what you will, not one word will be said.
[tr. Bovie (1970)]

I show but do not countenance what you do.
Douse me. The only record is in you.
[tr. Porter (2010), "A Bedside Light"]

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The job of a friend is not to decide what should be done, not to run interference or pick up the slack. The job of a friend is to understand, and to supply energy and hope, and in doing so to keep those they value on their feet a little longer, so that they can fight another round and grow strong in themselves.

Merle Shain (1935-1989) Canadian journalist and author
When Lovers Are Friends, ch. 9 (1980)
    (Source)
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Did universal charity prevail, earth would be a heaven, and hell a fable.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer
Lacon, Vol. 1, # 160 (1820)
    (Source)
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To be kind is more important than to be right. Many times, what people need is not a brilliant mind that speaks but a special heart that listens.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) American writer [Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald]
(Attributed)

No actual citation found. Also often attributed (also without citation) to Menachem Mendel Schneerson.
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Dignity of character ought to be graced by a house; but from a house it is not wholly derived. A master is not to be honored by a house; but a house by its master.

[Ornanda enim est dignitas domo, non ex domo tota quaerenda, nec domo dominus, sed domino domus honestanda est.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Officiis [On Duties; On Moral Duty; The Offices], Book 1, ch. 39 / sec. 139 (44 BC) [tr. McCartney (1798)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

It is well if a man can enhance that credit and reputation he has gotten by the splendour of his house; but he must not depend on his house alone for it; for the master ought to bring honour to his fine seat, and not the fine seat bring honour to its master.
[tr. Cockman (1699)]

For dignity should be adorned by a palace, but not be wholly sought from it: -- the house ought to be ennobled by the master, and not the master by the house.
[tr. Edmonds (1865)]

In truth, high standing in the community should be adorned by a house, not sought wholly from a house; nor should the owner be honored by the house, but the house by the owner.
[tr. Peabody (1883)]

The house should not constitute, though it may enhance, the dignity of the master; let the master honour the house, not the house the master.
[tr. Gardiner (1899)]

Your house may add lustre to your dignity, but it will not suffice that you should derive all your dignity from your house: the master should ennoble the house, not the house the master.
[ed. Harbottle (1906)]

The truth is, a man's dignity may be enhanced by the house he lives in, but not wholly secured by it; the owner should bring honour to his house, not the house to its owner.
[tr. Miller (1913)]

A house may enhance a man's dignity, but it should not be the only source of dignity; the house should not glorify its owner, but he should enhance it.
[tr. Edinger (1974)]

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He used often to say there was only one Road; that it was like a great river: its springs were at every doorstep, and every path was its tributary. “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,” he used to say. “You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) English writer, fabulist, philologist, academic [John Ronald Reuel Tolkien]
The Lord of the Rings, Vol. 1: The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 1, ch. 3 “Three Is Company” (1954)
    (Source)

Frodo, speaking to Pippin of Bilbo.
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Reason was an ambiguous tool, because, as we have seen throughout history, it can be used to find a logically sound rationale for actions that violate our humanity. […] If it is not tempered by compassion, and empathy, reason can lead men and women into a moral void.

Karen Armstrong (b. 1944) British author, comparative religion scholar
Twelve Steps To a Compassionate Life, “Empathy” (2010)
    (Source)
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Chance is the pseudonym of God when he did not want to sign.

[Le hasard, c’est peut-être le pseudonyme de Dieu quand il ne veut pas signer.]

Théophile Gautier (1811-1872) French poet, writer, critic
La Croix de Berny, Letter 3 (1855) [with Jules Sandeau, Émile de Girardin, and Joseph Méry]

Source (French). Alternate translation:

Let [chance] act, for perhaps it is the pseudonym of God.
[tr. Fendall/Holcomb (1873)]

Frequently misattributed to Anatole France.
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Before you’ll change, something important must be at risk.

Richard Bach (b. 1936) American writer
Messiah’s Handbook: Reminders for the Advanced Soul (2004)
    (Source)
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Terror,
Terror and silence were all I found.

[Horror ubique animo, simul ipsa silentia terrent.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
The Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 2, l. 755 (2.755) (29-19 BC) [tr. Humphries (1951)]
    (Source)

Aeneas recounting searching fallen Troy for his lost wife. (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

All things were full of horror and affright,
And dreadful even the silence of the night.
[tr. Dryden (1697)]

Horror on all sides, and at the same time the very silence affrights my soul.
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

A shuddering on my spirit falls,
And e'en the silence' self appals.
[tr. Conington (1866)]

Everywhere horror fills my soul, and even
The silence terrifies.
[tr. Cranch (1872)]

Everywhere my spirit shudders, dismayed at the very silence.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

While on the heart lies weight of fear, and e'en the hush brings dread.
[tr. Morris (1900)]

Horror waits
Around; the very silence breeds affright.
[tr. Taylor (1907), st. 102, ll. 912-13]

On all sides round
horror spread wide; the very silence breathed
a terror on my soul.
[tr. Williams (1910)]

Everywhere dread fills my heart; the very silence, too, dismays.
[tr. Fairclough (1916)]

Everywhere
Dread and the sheer silence reduced my courage to nothing.
[tr. Day Lewis (1952)]

My spirit is held by horror everywhere;
even the very silence terrifies.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), ll. 1017-18]

And everywhere my heart misgave me: even
Stillness had its terror.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981), ll. 983-84]

Horror was everywhere and the very silence chilled the blood.
[tr. West (1990)]

Everywhere there was fear. The very silence
Was terrifying.
[tr. Lombardo (2005), ll. 890-91]

With terror at every turn, the very silence makes me cringe.
[tr. Fagles (2006), l. 937]

Horror filled me everywhere, the very silence scared me.
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

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We should not be surprised that the Founding Fathers didn’t foresee everything, when we see that the current Fathers hardly ever foresee anything.

Henry Steele Commager (1902-1998) American historian, writer, activist
“Conversations with Historians,” interview by John A. Garraty, American Heritage (Feb 1970)
    (Source)

Excerpted from Interpreting American History: Conversations with Historians, Part 1, ch. 4 (1970).
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That’s life: Trust and you’re betrayed; don’t trust and you betray yourself.

Roger Zelazny (1937-1995) American writer
Knight of Shadows, ch. 3 (1990)
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It is the uncompromisingness with which dogma is held and not in the dogma or want of dogma that the danger lies.

Samuel Butler (1835-1902) English novelist, satirist, scholar
The Way of All Flesh, ch. 68 (1903)
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This was unwise, but if autocrats always acted wisely they would not furnish history with moral lessons.

Tuchman - If autocrats always acted wisely they would not furnish history with moral lessons - wist.info quote

Barbara W. Tuchman (1912-1989) American historian and author
A Distant Mirror, ch. 21 “The Fiction Cracks” (1978)
    (Source)

On young King Richard II's giving substantial offices and lands to his friend and mentor, the Earl of Oxford, in so doing making an enemy of the Duke of Gloucester.
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You are not a human being having a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being having a human experience.

Wayne Dyer
Wayne Dyer (1940-2015) American self-help author, motivational speaker
You’ll See It When You Believe It: The Way to Your Personal Transformation, ch. 2, epigraph (1989)
    (Source)

A variant of the phrase is also included in the Introduction to the book: "That you are not a human being having a spiritual experience, but rather a spiritual being having a human experience."

Dyer also used a variation of this ("Can you see yourselves as spiritual beings having a human experience, rather than human beings who may be having a spiritual experience?") the previous year in "A Letter to the Next Generation," an advertisement by Volkswagen.

Also attributed to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Georges I. Gurdjieff.

More discussion: You Are Not a Human Being Having a Spiritual Experience. You Are a Spiritual Being Having a Human Experience – Quote Investigator.
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Popular success is a palace built for a writer by publishers, journalists, admirers and professional reputation makers, in which a silent army of termites, rats, dry rot and death-watch beetles are tunnelling away, till, at the very moment of completion, it is ready to fall down. The one hope for a writer is that although his enemies are often unseen they are seldom unheard. He must listen for the death-watch, listen for the faint toc-toc, the critic’s truth sharpened by envy, the embarrassed praise of a sincere friend, the silence of gifted contemporaries, the implications of the don in the manger, the visitor in the small hours. He must dismiss the builders and contractors, elude the fans with an assumed name and dark glasses, force his way off the moving staircase, subject every thing he writes to a supreme critical court. Would it amuse Horace or Milton or Swift or Leopardi? Could it be read to Flaubert? Would it be chosen by the Infallible Worm, by the discriminating palates of the dead?

Cyril Connolly (1903-1974) English intellectual, literary critic and writer.
Enemies of Promise, Part 2, ch. 15 “The Slimy Mallows” (1938)
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Democracy will win — because a government’s legitimacy can only come from citizens; because in this age of information and empowerment, people want more control over their lives, not less; and because, more than any other form of government ever devised, only democracy, rooted in the sanctity of the individual, can deliver real progress.

Barack Obama (b. 1961) American politician, US President (2009-2017)
Speech, Nordea Concert Hall, Tallinn, Estonia (3 Sep 2014)
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There is a bitter sadness and special irony that attends the passing of Martin Luther King. Quickly and with ease, we offer up a chorus of posthumous praise — the ritual dirge so time-honored and comfortable and undemanding of anything but rhetoric. In death, we offer the acknowledgement of the man and his dream that we denied him in life.

In his grave, we praise him for his decency — but when he walked amongst us, we responded with no decency of our own. When he suggested that all men should have a place in the sun — we put a special sanctity on the right of ownership and the privilege of prejudice by maintaining that to deny homes to Negroes was a democratic right.

Now we acknowledge his compassion — but we exercised no compassion of our own. When he asked us to understand that men take to the streets out of anguish and hopelessness and a vision of that dream dying, we bought guns and speculated about roving agitators and subversive conspiracies and demanded law and order.

We felt anger at the effects, but did little to acknowledge the causes. We extol all the virtues of the man — but we chose not to call them virtues before his death. And now, belatedly, we talk of this man’s worth — but the judgment comes late in the day as part of a eulogy when it should have been made a matter of record while he existed as a living force.

Rod Serling (1924-1975) American screenwriter, playwright, television producer, narrator
Letter to the Editor, Los Angeles Times (8 Apr 1968)
    (Source)

Quoted in Anne Serling, As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling (2013).
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To me, good works are more important than theology. We all know that religion has been historically, and still is today, a cause of great evil as well as great good in human affairs. We have seen terrible wars and terrible persecutions conducted in the name of religion. We have also seen large numbers of people inspired by religion to lives of heroic virtue, bringing education and medical care to the poor, helping to abolish slavery and spread peace among nations. Religion amplifies the good and evil tendencies of individual souls. Religion will always remain a powerful force in the history of our species. To me, the meaning of progress in religion is simply this, that as we move from the past to the future the good works inspired by religion should more and more prevail over the evil.

Freeman Dyson
Freeman Dyson (1923-2020) English-American theoretical physicist, mathematician, futurist
“Progress in Religion,” speech accepting the Templeton Prize, Washington National Cathedral (9 May 2000)
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In fact, one of the main lesson to be learned from the collapses of the Maya, Anasazi, Easter Islanders, and those other past societies (as well as from the recent collapse of the Soviet Union) is that a society’s steep decline may begin only a decade or two after the society reaches its peak numbers, wealth, and power. […] The reason is simple: maximum population, wealth, resource consumption, and waste production mean maximum environmental impact, approaching the limit where impact outstrips resources. On reflection, it’s no surprise that declines of societies tend to follow swiftly on their peaks.

Jared Diamond
Jared Diamond (b. 1937) American geographer, historian, ornithologist, author
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, Part 4, ch. 16 (2005)
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Unfortunately, civility is hard to codify or legislate, but you know it when you see it. It’s possible to disagree without being disagreeable.

Sandra Day O'Connor
Sandra Day O'Connor (b. 1930) American attorney, politician, Supreme Court justice (1981-2006)
Speech, Wake Forest University, North Carolina (3 Apr 1993)
    (Source)

At the dedication of the Worrell Professional Center. Quoted in "Justice O'Connor Criticizes Lawyers for 'Rambo' Tactics," Washington Post (4 Apr 1993).
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Act like the person you are, not the way they make you act.

[Cada uno ha de obrar como quien es, no como le obligan.]

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658) Spanish Jesuit priest, writer, philosopher
The Art of Worldly Wisdom [Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia], § 165 (1647) [tr. Maurer (1992)]
    (Source)

On waging war honorably. (Source (Spanish)). Alternate translation:

Every one must needs act as he is, not as others would make him to be.
[tr. Jacobs (1892)]
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Every word which goes from me, whether verbally or in writing, becomes the subject of so much malignant distortion, & perverted construction, that I am obliged to caution my friends against admitting the possibility of my letters getting into the public papers, or a copy of them to be taken under any degree of confidence.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Letter to Edward Dowse (19 Apr 1803)
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Yet, if nothing else, each time a new baby is born there is a possibility of reprieve. Each child is a new being, a potential prophet, a new spiritual prince, a new spark of light precipitated into the outer darkness. Who are we to decide that it is hopeless?

R D Laing
R. D. Laing (1927-1989) Scottish psychiatrist [Ronald David Laing]
The Politics of Experience, ch. 1 (1967)
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If only men could be depended upon to base their decisions on reason. Alas, there are only three or four of us in the world, and even we will bear watching.

Rex Stout (1886-1975) American writer
The League of Frightened Men, ch. 18 [Wolfe] (1935)
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When the bathhouse breaks into loud applause,
you will know that well-hung Mario is the cause.

[Audieris in quo, Flacce, balneo plausum,
Maronis illic esse mentulam scito.]

Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 9, epigram 33 (9.33) [tr. Juster (2016)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

In whatever bath, Flaccus, you hear sounds resembling applause, know that there Maron's yard is to be found.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1897); in earlier editions, just the Latin and an Italian translation were given.]

In the baths what is now the most pleasing diversion
Is to go and see Maro displaying his person.
[tr. Pott & Wright (1921), "The Wonder"]

If you’re passing the baths and you hear,
From within, an uproarious cheer,
You may safely conclude
Maron’s there, in the nude,
With that tool which has nowhere a peer.
[tr. Humphries (1963)]

It's easy to tell
by the roar of applause
in which of the baths
Maron is bathing.
[tr. Goertz (1971)]

If from the baths you hear a round of applause,
Maron's giant prick is bound to be the cause.
[tr. Michie (1972)]

The bath house applauds, with widening eyes,
When Maron reveals his astonishing size.
[tr. Ericsson (1995)]

The critics in the Baths rain bravos thick
For Marcus' coup de théâtre, his dick.
[tr. Wills (2007)]

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Cynicism is a form of cowardice, a failure of courage to hope.

Merle Shain (1935-1989) Canadian journalist and author
Hearts That We Broke Long Ago, ch. 11 (1983)
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Indeed, the highest exercise of charity is, charity towards the uncharitable.

Joseph Buckminster
Joseph S. Buckminster (1784-1812) American Unitarian preacher and Bible scholar
Sermon on 2 Peter 1:5-7
    (Source)

Sermon 24 in Sermons by the Late Rev. J. S. Buckminster (1814). Scriptural reference.
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You choose, you live the consequences. Every yes, no, maybe, creates the school you call your personal experience.

Richard Bach (b. 1936) American writer
Running From Safety, ch. 15 (1994)
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