Quotations about:
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No solitary miscreant, scarcely any solitary maniac, would venture on such actions and imaginations, as large communities of sane men have, in such circumstances, entertained as sound wisdom.

Thomas Carlyle
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) Scottish essayist and historian
“Signs of the Times,” Edinburgh Review No. 98, Art. 7 (1829-06)
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Added on 8-Feb-24 | Last updated 8-Feb-24
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The time is passed when you could have a happy minority living upon the misery of the great mass. That time is passed. People won’t acquiesce in it, and you will have to learn to put up with the knowledge that your neighbor is also happy, if you want to be happy yourself. I think, if people are wisely educated, they will have a more expansive nature and will find no difficulty in allowing the happiness of others as a necessary condition of their own.

Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher
Interview by Woodrow Wyatt, BBC TV (1959)

Collected in Bertrand Russell's BBC Interviews (1959) [UK] and Bertrand Russell Speaks His Mind (1960) [US].
 
Added on 17-Jan-24 | Last updated 17-Jan-24
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They loved their wives, and were beloved by them. Their entire attention was directed to educating their children in the ways of virtue; the miseries of their fellow countrymen were constantly represented to them and held up as the sorriest of examples. Above all, they were taught that individual interest is always bound to the common interest, that to try to separate them was to invite ruin, that virtue is not something costly to achieve nor painful to exercise, and that justice for others is a blessing for ourselves.
They soon had the consolation of virtuous fathers, seeing their children develop in their image.

[Ils aimoient leurs femmes, et ils en étoient tendrement chéris. Toute leur attention étoit d’élever leurs enfants à la vertu. Ils leur représentoient sans cesse les malheurs de leurs compatriotes, et leur mettoient devant les yeux cet exemple si touchant ; ils leur faisoient surtout sentir que l’intérêt des particuliers se trouve toujours dans l’intérêt commun ; que vouloir s’en séparer, c’est vouloir se perdre ; que la vertu n’est point une chose qui doive nous coûter ; qu’il ne faut point la regarder comme un exercice pénible ; et que la justice pour autrui est une charité pour nous.
Ils eurent bientôt la consolation des pères vertueux, qui est d’avoir des enfants qui leur ressemblent.]

Charles-Lewis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755) French political philosopher
Persian Letters [Lettres Persanes], Letter 12, Usbek to Mirza (1721) [tr. Healy (1964)]
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In the story of the Troglodytes, a tribe who had been decimated by a plague after years of self-interested anarchy where every person did as they wished. The survivors developed a philosophy of mutual aid and community, and prospered.

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

They lov'd their Wives, and were tenderly belov'd by them. They were wholly intent upon educating their Children to Virtue. They continually represented to them the Calamities of their Countrymen, and often set that moving Example before their Eyes. They above all things instill'd into them this Principle, that every private Man's Interest is inseparable from the Interest of the Community. To divide it, is Ruin. That Virtue is not a thing which should be troublesome to us, nor ought the Exercise of it to give us pain; and that Justice to another, is Charity to our selves.
They had soon the Consolation of virtuous Fathers; which is, to have Children like themselves.
[tr. Ozell (1736)]

They loved their wives, and were affectionately beloved by them. The training up their children to virtue engaged their utmost care. They continually represented to them the miseries of their countrymen, and placed their melancholy example before their eyes. They especially inculcated upon their minds, that the interests of individuals was always to be found in that of the community, and that to attempt to seek it separately was to destroy it; that virtue is by no means a thing that ought to be burdensome to us, nor the practice of it considered as painful; that doing justice to others is acting charitably to ourselves. They soon enjoyed the consolation of virtuous parents, which consists in having children like themselves.
[tr. Floyd (1762)]

They loved their wives, and were beloved most tenderly. Their utmost care was given to the virtuous training of their children. They kept before their young minds the misfortunes of their countrymen, and held them up as a most melancholy example. Above all, they led them to see that the interest of the individual was bound up in that of the community; that to isolate oneself was to court ruin; that the cost of virtue should never be counted, nor the practice of it regarded as troublesome; and that in acting justly by others, we bestow blessings on ourselves.
They soon enjoyed the reward of virtuous parents, which consists in having children like themselves.
[tr. Davidson (1891)]

They loved their wives, and were in turn tenderly beloved by them. Their whole ambition was to rear their children virtuously. They constantly placed before their eyes the misfortunes of their fellow-countrymen, and proved to them by this thrilling example that the interest of the individual is one with the interest of the community; that to attempt to separate them is to court ruin; that virtue is a thing the practice of which ought to be found easy; that we should never regard its cultivation as a painful exercise, and that justice to others is a blessing to ourselves. They had soon the consolation of virtuous fathers, which is to see their children grow up in their likeness.
[tr. Betts (1897)]

They loved their wives, who cherished them tenderly in return; they devoted their whole attention to raising their children in the path of virtue; they told them repeatedly of the misfortunes of their compatriots, and showed them those piteous examples; above all, they made them feel that the interest of the individual is always identical with the common interest, and that to attempt to separate oneself from it is fatal; that we should not find virtue arduous, or regard it as a painful exercise, and that justice to another is a charity to oneself.
Soon they knew the consolation of virtuous fathers, which is to have children like themselves.
[tr. Mauldon (2008)]

They loved their wives, who in turn cherished them. Their great aim was to raise their children in the path of virtue. They constantly told them stories about their compatriots, putting that unhappy example before their eyes. Above all, they stressed that one;s self0--interest is always contained within the common interest, and that to separate those two was to take a step toward ruin; they taught also that virtue need cost us nothing, that we must not regard virtue as a painful burden; finally, they taught that to do justice for one is to do good for all.
In time they enjoyed the consolation of virtuous fathers, which is to have children who resemble them.
[tr. MacKenzie (2014)]

 
Added on 2-Jan-24 | Last updated 2-Jan-24
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For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors and laugh at them in our turn?

Jane Austen
Jane Austen (1775-1817) English novelist
Pride and Prejudice, ch. 57 [Mr. Bennet] (1813)
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Added on 2-Nov-23 | Last updated 2-Nov-23
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Machines are a great thing, but if one replaces a hundred men, it don’t buy anything, it don’t eat anything, while the hundred men spend theirs back for food, shelter, and hundreds of various commodities for them and their families.

Will Rogers (1879-1935) American humorist
“Weekly Article” column (1931-09-06)
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Added on 13-Jul-23 | Last updated 13-Jul-23
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Etiquette is about all of human social behavior. Behavior is regulated by law when etiquette breaks down or when the stakes are high — violations of life, limb, property, and so on. Barring that, etiquette is a little social contract we make that we well restrain some of our more provocative impulses in return for living more or less harmoniously in a community.

Judith Martin (b. 1938) American author, journalist, etiquette expert [a.k.a. Miss Manners]
“Polite Company,” interview by Hara Estroff Marano, Psychology Today (1998-03)
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Added on 9-May-23 | Last updated 30-May-23
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Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practises it will have neighbors.

[德不孤、必有鄰。]

Confucius (c. 551- c. 479 BC) Chinese philosopher, sage, politician [孔夫子 (Kǒng Fūzǐ, K'ung Fu-tzu, K'ung Fu Tse), 孔子 (Kǒngzǐ, Chungni), 孔丘 (Kǒng Qiū, K'ung Ch'iu)]
The Analects [論語, 论语, Lúnyǔ], Book 4, verse 25 (4.25) (6th C. BC – AD 3rd C.) [tr. Legge (1861)]
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Differing commentary on the text can be found; it may mean that virtue attracts others to its side, or it may be a comment on virtue needing to be practiced in a social setting.

(Source (Chinese)). Alternate translations:

Virtue dwells not alone: she must have neighbors.
[tr. Jennings (1895)]

Moral worth is never left alone; society is sure to grow round him.
[tr. Ku Hung-Ming (1898)]

Virtue never dwells alone; it always has neighbors.
[tr. Soothill (1910)]

Virtue attracts friends.
[tr. Soothill (1910), Alternate]

Candidness is not fatherless, it is bound to have neighbors.
[tr. Pound (1933)]

Moral force (tê) never dwells in solitude; it will always bring neighbors.
[tr. Waley (1938)]

High moral conduct does not remain alone; it is sure to attract neighbors.
[tr. Ware (1950)]

Virtue never stands alone. It is bound to have neighbors.
[tr. Lau (1979)]

Virtue is not solitary. It is bound to have neighbors.
[tr. Dawson (1993)]

Virtue is not solitary; it always has neighbors.
[tr. Leys (1997)]

The virtuous are not solitary. They surely have neighbors.
[tr. Huang (1997)]

A virtuous person is not alone, certainly has his companions.
[tr. Cai/Yu (1998)]

Excellent persons (de) do not dwell alone; they are sure to have neighbors.
[tr. Ames/Rosemont (1998)]

Virtue is not solitary; it must have neighbors.
[tr. Brooks/Brooks (1998)]

Integrity's never alone. It always has neighbors.
[tr. Hinton (1998)]

Virtue is never solitary; it always has neighbors.
[tr. Slingerland (2003)]

Virtue is not alone. It invariably has neighbors.
[tr. Watson (2007)]

Virtue does not stand alone. It is bound to have neighbors.
[tr. Annping Chin (2014)]

A virtuous person is never lonely because there is always a comrade nearby.
[tr. Li (2020)]

 
Added on 29-Aug-22 | Last updated 8-May-23
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Although I never found a church where I felt completely at home again, I made a new home in the world. I renewed my membership in the priesthood of all believers, who may not have as much power as we would like, but whose consolation prize is the freedom to meet God after work, well away from all centers of religious command, wherever God shows up.

Barbara Brown Taylor (b. 1951) American minister, academic, author
Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith (2009)
 
Added on 26-Jul-22 | Last updated 26-Jul-22
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There are many people who can exercise virtue in their own affairs, but are unable to do so in their relations with others. This is why the aphorism of Bias, “Office will reveal the man”, seems a good one, since an official is, by virtue of his position, engaged with other people and the community at large.

[πολλοὶ γὰρ ἐν μὲν τοῖς οἰκείοις τῇ ἀρετῇ δύνανται χρῆσθαι, ἐν δὲ τοῖς πρὸς ἕτερον ἀδυνατοῦσιν. καὶ διὰ τοῦτο εὖ δοκεῖ ἔχειν τὸ τοῦ Βίαντος, ὅτι ἀρχὴ ἄνδρα δείξει: πρὸς ἕτερον γὰρ καὶ ἐν κοινωνίᾳ ἤδη ὁ ἄρχων.]

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Nicomachean Ethics [Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια], Book 5, ch. 1 (5.1.15-16) / 1129b.33ff (c. 325 BC) [tr. Crisp (2000)]
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(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

I mean, there are many who can practise virtue in the regulation of their own personal conduct who are wholly unable to do it in transactions with their neighbour. And for this reason that saying of Bias is thought to be a good one, “Rule will show what a man is;” for he who bears Rule is necessarily in contact with others, i.e., in a community.
[tr. Chase (1847), ch. 2]

For many there be who can make good use of their virtue in their own matters, but not towards their fellow-man. And, hence, Bias would seem to have said well, saying that, "It is authority that shows the man." For whosoever is in authority stands ipso facto in relation to his fellow-man, in that he is a fellow-member of the body politic.
[tr. Williams (1869)]

For there are many people who are capable of exhibiting virtue at home, but incapable of exhibiting it in relation to their neighbors. Accordingly there seems to be good sense in saying of Bias that "office will reveal a man," for one who is in office is at once brought into relation and association with others.
[tr. Welldon (1892)]

For there are many who can be virtuous enough at home, but fail in dealing with their neighbours. This is the reason why people commend the saying of Bias, “Office will show the man;” for he that is in office ipso facto stands in relation to others, and has dealings with them.
[tr. Peters (1893)]

For many men can exercise virtue in their own affairs, but not in their relations to their neighbour. This is why the saying of Bias is thought to be true, that "rule will show the man"; for a ruler is necessarily in relation to other men and a member of a society.
[tr. Ross (1908)]

For there are many who can practise virtue in their own private affairs but cannot do so in their relations with another. This is why we approve the saying of Bias, "Office will show a man"; for in office one is brought into relation with others and becomes a member of a community.
[tr. Rackham (1934)]

For many people are able to use their virtue in what properly belongs to themselves, but unable to do so in issues relating to another person. And this is why Bias' saying, "ruling office shows forth the man," seems good, since a ruler is automatically in relation to another person and in a community with him.
[tr. Reeve (1948)]

I say this because there are plenty of people who can behave uprightly in their own affairs, but are incapable of doing so in relation to somebody else. That is why Bias's saying "Office will reveal the man" is felt to be valid; because an official is eo ipso in relation to, and associated with, somebody else.
[tr. Thomson/Tredennick (1976)]

For many people are able to use virtue in dealing with the members of their household, but in their affairs together regarding another, they are unable to do so. And on this account, the saying of Bias seems good, that "office will show the man." For he who rules is already in relation to another and within the community.
[tr. Bartlett/Collins (2011)]

 
Added on 15-Feb-22 | Last updated 15-Feb-22
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I am an adherent of the ideal of democracy, although I know well the weaknesses of the democratic form of government. Social equality and economic protection of the individual have always seemed to me the important communal aims of the state. Although I am a typical loner in daily life, my consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice keeps me from feeling isolated.

[Ich bekenne mich zum Ideal der Demokratie, trotzdem mir die Nachteile demokratischer Staatsform wohlbekannt sind. Sozialer Ausgleich und wirtschaftlicher Schutz des Individuums erschienen mir stets als wichtige Ziele der staatlichen Gemeinschaft. ch bin zwar im täglichen Leben ein typischer Einspänner, aber das Bewusstsein, der unsichtbaren Gemeinschaft derjenigen anzugehören, die nach Wahrheit, Schönheit und Gerechtigkeit streben, hat das Gefühl der Vereinsamung nicht aufkommen lassen.]

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) German-American physicist
“My Credo Mein Glaubensbekenntnis],” recording for the German League of Human Rights (Autumn 1932)
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Einstein crafted and recrafted his credo multiple times in this period, and specifics are often muddled by differing translations and by his reuse of certain phrases in later writing.
 
Added on 11-Jan-22 | Last updated 11-Jan-22
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Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer.
Cheer to all Whos far and near.
Christmas Day is in our grasp,
so long as we have hands to clasp.
Christmas Day will always be
just as long as we have we.
Welcome Christmas while we stand,
heart to heart, and hand in hand.

Dr. Seuss (1904-1991) American author, illustrator [pseud. of Theodor Geisel]
How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, TV special, final lines [Narrator] (1966) [with Irv Spector, Bob Ogle, Eugene Poddany]
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This phrase was from the 1966 animated special; it does not appear in the original 1957 book. It is unclear who actually wrote the words to the song, but "Dr. Seuss" is sually credited. The words are also embedded in the Whos' "Welcome Christmas" song. The narration was performed by Boris Karloff.

The last four lines are often paraphrased down to "Christmas will always be as long as we stand heart to heart and hand in hand."
 
Added on 16-Dec-21 | Last updated 24-Dec-23
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It can be difficult to be an introvert in church, especially if you happen to be the pastor. Liking to be alone can be interpreted as a judgment on other people’s company. Liking to be quiet can be construed as aloofness. There is so much emphasis on community in most congregations that anyone who does not participate risks being labeled a loner.

Barbara Brown Taylor (b. 1951) American minister, academic, author
An Altar in the World, ch. 7 (2009)
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Added on 19-Nov-21 | Last updated 19-Nov-21
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Civility is not a tactic or a sentiment. It is the determined choice of trust over cynicism, of community over chaos.

George W. Bush (b. 1946) US President (2001-2009)
Inaugural Address (20 Jan 2001)
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Added on 1-Nov-21 | Last updated 1-Nov-21
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Culture is the name for what people are interested in, their thoughts, their models, the books they read and the speeches they hear, their table-talk, gossip controversies, historical sense and scientific training, the values they appreciate, the quality of life they admire. All communities have a culture. It is the climate of their civilization.

Walter Lippmann (1889-1974) American journalist and author
A Preface to Politics, ch. 9 “Revolution and Culture” (1913)
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Added on 25-Oct-21 | Last updated 25-Oct-21
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Society in its full sense […] is never an entity separable from the individuals who compose it. No individual can arrive even at the threshold of his potentialities without a culture in which he participates. Conversely, no civilization has in it any element which in the last analysis is not the contribution of an individual.

Ruth Benedict (1887-1947) American anthropologist
Patterns of Culture, ch. 8 “The Individual and Culture” (1934)
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Sometimes quoted as "The community is never an entity ...."
 
Added on 18-Sep-20 | Last updated 18-Sep-20
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A novel which survives, which withstands and outlives time, does do something more than merely survive. It does not stand still. It accumulates round itself the understanding of all these persons who bring to it something of their own. It acquires associations, it becomes a form of experience in itself, so that two people who meet can often make friends, find an approach to each other, because of this one great common experience they have had.

Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973) Irish author
“Truth and Fiction,” BBC Radio (Oct 1956)
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Added on 20-Jul-20 | Last updated 20-Jul-20
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I love being with people. But I need a script, a role, something that will help me overcome my fears of rejection and shame. Most religions and belief systems provide a blueprint for some sort of community. And the religion’s leaders model a way of being. For example, in my book Choke, a character enacts his own death and resurrection every night — as does the narrator in Fight Club. Here’s Jesus, allowing himself to look terrible in front of his peers. That’s the biggest purpose of religious gathering: permission to look terrible in public.

Chuck Palahniuk (b. 1962) American novelist and freelance journalist
“Those burnt tongue moments–Chuck Palahniuk in interview”, Interview by Andrew Lawless, Three Monkeys (May 2005)
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Added on 16-Jun-20 | Last updated 16-Jun-20
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The essence of spiritual practice is your attitude toward others.

The Dalai Lama (b. 1935) Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader [The 14th Dalai Lama; a/k/a Lhama Thondup / Lhama Dhondrub; b. Tenzin Gyatso]
“The Dalai Lama in Depth,” Interview with Catherine Ingram, Yoga Journal (Jan/Feb 1990)
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Added on 12-Nov-19 | Last updated 12-Nov-19
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I’d be the first to say that some historical victories have been won by violence; the U.S. Revolution is certainly one of the foremost. But the Negro revolution is seeking integration, not independence. Those fighting for independence have the purpose to drive out the oppressors. But here in America, we’ve got to live together. We’ve got to find a way to reconcile ourselves to living in community, one group with the other. The struggle of the Negro in America, to be successful, must be waged with resolute efforts, but efforts that are kept strictly within the framework of our democratic society. This means reaching, educating and moving large enough groups of people of both races to stir the conscience of the nation.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, social activist, preacher
Playboy interview (Jan 1965)
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Added on 24-Mar-19 | Last updated 24-Mar-19
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What the people wanted was a government which would provide a comfortable life for them, and with this as the foremost object ideas of freedom and self-reliance and service to the community were obscured to the point of disappearing. Athens was more and more looked on as a co-operative business possessed of great wealth in which all citizens had a right to share. […] Athens had reached the point of rejecting independence, and the freedom she now wanted was freedom from responsibility. There could be only one result. […] If men insisted on being free from the burden of a life that was self-dependent and also responsible for the common good, they would cease to be free at all. Responsibility was the price every man must pay for freedom. It was to be had on no other terms.

Edith Hamilton (1867-1963) American educator, author, classicist
The Echo of Greece, ch. 2 “Athens’ Failure” (1957)
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Added on 4-Jul-17 | Last updated 4-Jul-17
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The conception of men as united to each other, and of all mankind as united to God, by mutual obligations arising from their relation to a common end, which vaguely conceived and imperfectly realized, had been the keystone holding together the social fabric, ceased to be impressed upon men’s minds, when Church and State withdrew from the centre of social life to its circumference. What remained … was private rights and private interests, the materials of a society rather than a society itself.

R. H. Tawney (1880-1962) English writer, economist, historian, social critic [Richard Henry Tawney]
The Acquisitive Century, ch. 2 “Rights and Functions” (1920)
 
Added on 29-Dec-16 | Last updated 29-Dec-16
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Individual liberty is individual power, and as the power of a community is a mass compounded of individual powers, the nation which enjoys the most freedom must necessarily be in proportion to its numbers the most powerful nation.

John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) US President (1825-29)
Letter to James Lloyd (1 Oct 1822)
 
Added on 3-Oct-16 | Last updated 3-Oct-16
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You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the Moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, “Look at that, you son of a bitch.”

Mitchell - look at that - wist_info quote

Edgar "Ed" Mitchell (1930-2016) American aviator, engineer, astronaut
(Attributed)

The earliest source I can find of the quote is in People (8 Apr 1974), where it appears as an epigraph for a story on Mitchell three years after his flight to the Moon.
 
Added on 9-Feb-16 | Last updated 9-Feb-16
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Democracy postulates community of interest or loyal patriotism. When these are absent it cannot long exist.

Inge - democracy - wist_info

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Our Present Discontents,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1919)
 
Added on 30-Nov-15 | Last updated 1-Jun-16
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The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves — in their separate, and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere.

The desirable things which the individuals of a people can not do, or can not well do, for themselves, fall into two classes: those which have relation to wrongs, and those which have not. Each of these branch off into an infinite variety of subdivisions. The first — that in relation to wrongs — embraces all crimes, misdemeanors, and non-performance of contracts. The other embraces all which, in its nature, and without wrong, requires combined action, as public roads and highways, public schools, charities, pauperism, orphanage, estates of the deceased, and the machinery of government itself.

From this it appears that if all men were just, there still would be some, though not so much, need of government.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) American lawyer, politician, US President (1861-65)
Fragment (1 Jul 1854?)
    (Source)

In Roy P. Basler (ed.), Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Vol. 2 (1953). The date, by Nicolay and Hay, is deemed arbitrary.
 
Added on 6-Oct-15 | Last updated 6-Oct-15
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Individualism, at first, only saps the virtues of public life; but in the long run it attacks and destroys all others and is at length absorbed in downright selfishness.

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) French writer, diplomat, politician
Democracy in America, 2.2.2 (1840) [tr. Reeve & Bowen (1862)]
 
Added on 28-Jul-15 | Last updated 28-Jul-15
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There is a destiny that makes us brothers:
None goes his way alone:
All that we send into the lives of others
Comes back onto our own.

Edwin Markham (1852-1940) American poet
“A Creed To Mr. David Lubin”, st. 1, Lincoln & Other Poems (1901)
 
Added on 27-Feb-15 | Last updated 27-Feb-15
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All skill ought to be exerted for universal good; every man has owed much to others, and ought to repay the kindness that he has received.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia, ch. 6 (1759)
 
Added on 21-Feb-14 | Last updated 13-Oct-14
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Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

The Bible (The New Testament) (AD 1st - 2nd C) Christian sacred scripture
Philippians 2:4 (KJV)
    (Source)

Alternate translations:
  • "Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others." (NASB)
  • "Not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others." (NIV, NRSV)
 
Added on 18-Feb-14 | Last updated 18-Feb-14
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More quotes by Bible, vol. 2, New Testament

Furthering the common good does not require that we forego self-interest, but rather that we are able to see our own interests linked to those of others. It requires a society that enables citizens to express the very human need to act on our deepest values as well as on our private interests.

Frances Moore Lappé (b. 1944) American writer, activist
Rediscovering America’s Values, ch. 6 “Summing Up the Dialogue” (1989)
 
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There are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few that we can solve by ourselves.

Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) American politician, educator, US President (1963-69)
Press conference, Johnson City, Texas (1964-11-28)
 
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In a virtuous community men of sense and principle will always be placed at the head of affairs. In a declining state of public morals men will be so blinded to their true interests as to put the incapable and unworthy at the helm. It is therefore vain to complain of the follies or crimes of a government. We must lay the hands on our own hearts and say, Here is the sin that makes the public sin.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“The Individual and the State,” sermon, Second Church of Boston (1830-04-08)
 
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All people should be loved equally. But you cannot do good to all people equally, so you should take particular thought for those who by the chance of place or time or anything else are, as if by lot, in particularly close contact with you.

[Omnes autem aeque diligendi sunt. Sed cum omnibus prodesse non possis, his potissimum consulendum est, qui pro locorum et temporum vel quarumlibet rerum opportunitatibus constrictius tibi quasi quadam sorte iunguntur.]

Augustine of Hippo (354-430) Christian church father, philosopher, saint [b. Aurelius Augustinus]
On Christian Doctrine [De Doctrina Christiana], Book 1, ch. 28 / § 29 (1.28.29) (AD 397) [tr. Green (1995), § 61]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Further, all men are to be loved equally. But since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special regard to those who, by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstance, are brought into closer connection with you.
[tr. Shaw (1858)]

All other men are to be loved equally; but since you cannot be of assistance to everyone, those especially are to be cared for who are most closely bound to you by place, time, or opportunity, as if by chance.
[tr. Robertson (1958)]

 
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Now, God has thus ordered things that we may learn to bear one another’s burdens; for there is no man without his faults, none without his burden. None is sufficient in himself; none is wise in himself; therefore, we must support one another, comfort, help, teach, and advise one another.

[Nunc autem Deus sic ordinavit, ut discamus alter alterius onera portare, quia nemo sine defectu, nemo sine onere, nemo sibi sufficiens, nemo sibi satis sapiens, sed oportet invicem portare, invicem consolari, pariter adjuvare, et ammonere.]

Thomas von Kempen
Thomas à Kempis (c. 1380-1471) German-Dutch priest, author
The Imitation of Christ [De Imitatione Christi], Book 1, ch. 16, v. 4 (1.16.4) (c. 1418-27) [tr. Sherley-Price (1952)]
    (Source)

See Galatians 6:2.

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Therefore God hath so ordained that each one of us shall learn to bear another’s burden: for in this world no man is without default, no man without burden, no man sufficient to himself, nor no man wise enough of himself. Wherefore it behoveth each one of us to bear the burden of others, to comfort others, to help others, to inform others, and to instruct and admonish others in all charity.
[tr. Whitford/Raynal (1530/1871)]

Therefore, God has so ordained that each one of us shall learn to bear another's burden, for in this world no man is without fault, no man without burden, no man sufficient to himself, and no man wise enough of himself. And so it behooves each one of us to bear the burden of others, to comfort others, to help others, to counsel others, and to instruct and admonish others in all charity.
[tr. Whitford/Gardiner (1530/1955)]

But now God hath thus ordained that every man should have a burthen of his owne, let us learne to support and beare one anothers burthens. For there is none without defect, none without his burthen, no man sufficient by himselfe, no man wise enough of himselfe. But we ought to bear with one another, comfort one another, equally helpe, instruct, and admonish one another.
[tr. Page (1639), 1.16.11-13]

But, as the present Condition of the World is ordered, God hath furnished us with constant Occasions of bearing one another's Burthens. For there is no Man lives without his Failings; no Man that is so happy, as never to give Offence; no Man without his Load of Trouble; no Man so sufficient, as never to need Assistance; none so wise, but the Advice of others may, at some time or other, be useful and necessary for him: And therefore we should think ourselves under the strongest Engagements to comfort and relieve, and instruct, and admonish, and bear with one another.
[tr. Stanhope (1696; 1706 ed.)]

But in the present fallen state of human nature, it is his Blessed Will, that we should learn to bear one another's burthens: and as no man is free from some burthen of sin or sorrow; as none has strength and wisdom sufficient for all the purposes of life and duty, the necessity of mutual forbearance, mutual consolation, mutual support, instruction and advice, is founded upon our mutual imperfections, troubles and wants.
[tr. Payne (1803)]

But now God hath thus ordered it, that we may learn to bear one another's burdens; for no man is without fault; no man but hath his burden; no man sufficient of himself; no man wise enough of himself; but we ought to bear with one another, comfort one another, help, instruct, and admonish one another.
[ed. Parker (1841)]

But in the present fallen state of human nature, it is His Blessed Will that we should learn to bear one another's burthens: and as no man is free from some burthen of sin or sorrow, as none has a strength and wisdom sufficient for all the purposes of life and duty, the necessity of mutual forbearance, mutual consolation, mutual support, instruction, and advice, is founded upon our mutual imperfections, troubles, and wants.
[tr. Dibdin (1851)]

But now God has so ordered it, that we learn to bear one another's burdens; for there is no man without defect, no one without his burden, no man sufficient for himself, no man wise enough for himself; but we must support one another, comfort one another, assist, instruct, and admonish one another.
[ed. Bagster (1860)]

But now hath God thus ordained, that we may learn to bear one another’s burdens, because none is without defect, none without a burden, none sufficient of himself, none wise enough of himself; but it behoveth us to bear with one another, to comfort one another, to help, instruct, admonish one another.
[tr. Benham (1874)]

But now God hath thus ordered it, that we may learn to bear one another's burdens; for no man is without fault; no man but hath his burden; no man is sufficient of himself; no man is wise enough of himself; but we ought to bear with one another, comfort one another, help, instruct, and admonish one another.
[tr. Anon. (1901)]

But God has so ordained, that we may learn to bear with one another's burdens, for there is no man without fault, no man without burden, no man sufficient to himself nor wise enough. Hence we must support one another, console one another, mutually help, counsel, and advise.
[tr. Croft/Bolton (1940)]

But now God has so arranged that we may learn to bear each other’s burdens, for none is faultless, none without a burden, none sufficient to himself, none wise enough in himself: but we must bear with each other, comfort each other, help, teach, and advise each other.
[tr. Daplyn (1952)]

He will have us learn to bear the burden of one another's faults. Nobody is faultless; each has his own burden to bear, without the strength or the wit to carry it by himself; and we have got to support one another, console, help, correct, advise one another, each in his turn.
[tr. Knox-Oakley (1959)]

As it is, [God] has made things the way they are so that we may learn to bear the burden of one another’s failings. There is no one free from weakness, no one without a load to carry, no one who is self-sufficient, no one who can dispense with others’ help; and so it is our duty to support each other, to comfort each other, to help, guide and advise each other.
[tr. Knott (1962)]

It is God’s plan that we should learn to carry each other's troubles . There is no one free of faults, no one burdenless, no one self-sufficient, no one clever enough to stand alone. We must support one another, comfort one another, help build up one another by instruction and advice.
[tr. Rooney (1979)]

But now God has so arranged things that we may learn to bear each other's burdens, for no one is without faults, no one is without burdens, no one is wholly self-sufficient, no one has enough wisdom all by himself. That being the case, we must support and comfort each other; together we must help, teach, and advise one another.
[tr. Creasy (1989)]

 
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More quotes by Thomas a Kempis

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatsoever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no “brief candle” to me; it is a sort of splendid torch which I’ve got a hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) British playwright and critic
“Art and Public Money,” speech, Municipal Technical College and School of Art, Brighton (1907-03-06)
    (Source)

This is the "official" version that shows up in Archibald Henderson, George Bernard Shaw: His Life and Works, ch. 16 (1911), as the final words. A variant version from the reporter's notes was published in the Sussex Daily News (1907-03-07):

I consider my life belongs to the whole community, and while I last it is my privilege to do what I can for it. I want to be worn out, because the harder I am working, the more I live. I enjoy like for its own sake. It is no "brief candle" for me. It is a sort of glorious torch, which I have got the hold of for the moment, and I want to make it blaze brighter before I hand it on to future generations.

For the "brief candle" reference, see Shakespeare.

This passage is sometimes quoted incorrectly preceded by a passage in the "Epistle Dedicatory to Archibald Henderson" to Man and Superman (1903). This error may have come from Stephen Covey, who identified the chimera as one of his favorite quotations.
 
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I believe that that community is already in process of dissolution where each man begins to eye his neighbor as a possible enemy, where non-conformity with the accepted creed, political as well as religious, is a mark of disaffection; where denunciation, without specification or backing, takes the place of evidence; where orthodoxy chokes freedom of dissent; where faith in the eventual supremacy of reason has become so timid that we are not enter our convictions into the open list, to win or lose. Such fears as these are a solvent which can eat out the cement that binds the stones together; they may in the end subject us to a despotism as evil as any that we dread; and they can be allayed only in so far as we refuse to proceed on suspicion, and trust one another until we have tangible ground for misgiving,

Learned Hand (1872-1961) American jurist
“A Plea for the Open Mind and Free Discussion,” speech, University of the State of New York, Albany (1952-10-24)
    (Source)
 
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We must guard against being too individualistic and elitist in our understanding of spirituality. Some Christians talk endlessly about the importance of one’s interior life and how to develop it more fully, forgetting that Christ is born to bring hope and joy also to whole communities of people — the exiles, the deported, the tortured, the silenced.

William Sloane Coffin, Jr. (1924-2006) American minister, social activist
Credo, “Faith, Hope, and Love” (2004)
    (Source)
 
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I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood; that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, social activist, preacher
“I Have a Dream,” speech, Washington, DC (28 Aug 1963)
 
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Human beings are like parts of a body,
created from the same essence.
When one part is hurt and in pain,
the others cannot remain in peace and be quiet.
If the misery of others leaves you indifferent
and with no feelings of sorrow,
You cannot be called a human being.

بنی‌آدم اعضای یک دیگرند
که در آفرينش ز یک گوهرند
چو عضوى به‌درد آورَد روزگار
دگر عضوها را نمانَد قرار
تو کز محنت دیگران بی‌غمی
نشاید که نامت نهند آدمی

Saadi - You cannot be called a human being - wist.info quote

Sa'adi (1184-1283/1291?) Persian poet [a.k.a. Sa'di, Moslih Eddin Sa'adi, Mushrif-ud-Din Abdullah, Muslih-ud-Din Mushrif ibn Abdullah, Mosleh al-Din Saadi Shirazi, Shaikh Mosslehedin Saadi Shirazi]
“Bani Adam [The Children of Adam],” Gulistan [Rose Garden], ch. 1 “On the Conduct of Kings,” story 10 (1258)
    (Source)

Also known as the "Poem on Humanity" or "Human Beings". This translation was quoted by President Carter in a toast to the Shah of Iran (31 Dec 1977). (Source (Persian)).

The poem, some of the most famous Persian/Iranian verses, was suggested as a motto for the League of Nations in 1928. It was long falsely rumored that the Bashiri translation (below) was posted as the entrance to the United Nations building in New York; however, a carpet with the poem inscribed in Persian was installed in 2005 in a meeting hall in the interior of the building. There is also a plaque on the wall of the UN commemorating the United Nations Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations (2001) with the Eastwick (1880?) translation (below).

Transliterations:

[Bani Aadam `aazaye yek pigarand
Keh dar aafarinesh ze yek guharand
Cho `ozvi be dard aavarad rozigaar
Degar ozvahaa raa namaanad qaraar
To kaz mehnate digaraan bi ghami
Nashaayad ke naamat nahand Aadami]

[Source]

[banī ādam aʿzāy-e yek digarand
keh dar āfarīniesh zeh yek goharand
cho ʿozvī beh dard āwarad roozgār
degar ʿozvhā rā namānad qarār
to k'az meḥnat-e dīgarān bīghamī
nashāyad keh nāmat nahand ādamī]

[Source]

[Bani aadam a'adhaae yek peikarand,
Ke dar aafarinesh ze yek guharand.
Chu 'udhwi bedard aawarad ruuzgaar,
Degar 'udhwhaa raa namaanad gharaar.
Tu kaz mehnate digaraan biqamii,
Nashaayad ke naamat nehand aadami.]

[Farooqi (1987)]

Alternate translations:

All Adam's race are members of one frame,
Since all, at first, from the same essence came.
When by hard fortune one limb is oppressed,
The other members lose their wonted rest:
If thou feel'st not for others' misery,
A son of Adam is no name for thee.
[tr. Eastwick (1852)]

All human beings are members of one frame,
Since all, at first, from the same essence came.
When time afflicts a limb with pain
The other limbs at rest cannot remain.
If thou feel not for other’s misery
A human being is no name for thee.
[tr. Eastwick (1880?); it is suggested this is the 1880 translation by Eastwick, but that is the same as the 1852 above.]

The sons of Adam are limbs of each other,
Having been created of one essence.
When the calamity of time affects one limb
The other limbs cannot remain at rest.
If thou hast no sympathy for the troubles of others
Thou art unworthy to be called by the name of a human.
[tr. Burton (1888)]

All men are members of the same body,
Created from one essence.
If fate brings suffering to one member,
The others cannot stay at rest.
You who remain indifferent
To the burden of pain of others,
Do not deserve to be called human.
[tr. Rehatsek (1888)]

All Adam's sons are limbs of one another
Each of the self-same substance as his brother.
So while one member suffers aches and grief,
The other members cannot win relief.
Thou, who are heedless of thy brother's pain,
It is not right at all to name thee man.
[tr. Arberry (1945)]

Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you cannot retain.
[tr. Aryanpour (1970)]

Adam's sons are body limbs, to say;
For they're created of the same clay.
Should one organ be troubled by pain,
Others would suffer severe strain.
Thou, careless of people's suffering,
Deserve not the name, "human being."
[tr. Dastjerdi (1999)]

Of One Essence is the Human Race,
Thusly has Creation put the Base.
One Limb impacted is sufficient,
For all Others to feel the Mace.
The Unconcern'd with Others' Plight,
Are but Brutes with Human Face.
[tr. Bashiri (2003)]

All men and women are to each other
the limbs of a single body, each of us drawn
from life’s shimmering essence, God’s perfect pearl;
and when this life we share wounds one of us,
all share the hurt as if it were our own.
You, who will not feel another’s pain,
you forfeit the right to be called human.
[tr. Newman (2004)]

Man’s sons are parts of one reality
Since all have sprung from one identity;
If one part of a body’s hurt, the rest
Cannot remain unmoved and undistressed;
If you’re not touched by others’ pain, the name
Of “man” is one you cannot rightly claim.
[tr. Davis (2012)]

Human beings are limbs of one body indeed;
For, they’re created of the same soul and seed.
When one limb is afflicted with pain,
Other limbs will feel the bane.
He who has no sympathy for human suffering,
Is not worthy of being called a human being.
[tr. Salami]

All human beings are in truth akin,
All in creation share in one origin.
When fate allots a member pangs and pains,
No ease for other members then remains.
If, unperturbed, another's grief canst can,
Thou are not worthy of the name of man.
[tr. Sharp]

Human beings are body parts of each other,
In creation they are indeed of one essence.
If a body part is afflicted with pain,
Other body parts uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you shall not retain.
[Source]

Adam's children are limbs of one body
That in creation are made of one gem.
When life and time hurt a limb,
Other limbs will not be at ease.
You who are not sad for the suffering of others,
Do not deserve to be called human.
[Source]

The children of Adam are the members of each other,
who are in their creation from the same essence.
When day and age hurt one of these members,
other members will be left (with) no serenity.
If you are unsympathetic to the misery of others,
it is not right that they should call you a human being.
[Source]

 
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Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, social activist, preacher
Letter from Birmingham Jail (16 Apr 1963)
    (Source)

Another phrase King used on repeated occasions, e.g., "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Therefore, no American can afford to be apathetic about the problem of racial justice. It is a problem that meets every man at his front door" -- "The Rising Tide of Racial Consciousness," Speech, National Urban League, New York (6 Sep 1960).
 
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The highest result of education is tolerance. Long ago men fought and died for their faith; but it took ages to teach them the other kind of courage, — the courage to recognize the faiths of their brethren and their rights of conscience. Tolerance is the first principle of community; it is the spirit which conserves the best that all men think.

 

Helen Keller (1880-1968) American author and lecturer
“Optimism” (1903)
    (Source)
 
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