Quotations about   impact

Note that not all quotations have been tagged, so the Search function may find additional quotations on this topic.



Political strategies and tactics are not jealous lovers. You don’t have to be monogamous. Direct Action will not feel betrayed if you also vote from time to time — you can be poly in your tactics. And I am. Of course I vote! If you’re a woman, or a person of color, or a person who doesn’t own property, or even a white male who doesn’t belong to the nobility, centuries of struggle and many deaths have bought you the right to vote. I vote to keep faith with peasant rebels and suffragist hunger strikers and civil rights workers braving the lynch mobs of the South, if for no other reason. But there is another reason — because who we vote for has an enormous impact on real peoples’ lives.

Starhawk (b. 1951) American writer, activist, feminist theologian [b. Miriam Simos]
“Pre-Election Day Thoughts,” blog post (7 Nov 2016)
    (Source)
Added on 19-Oct-20 | Last updated 19-Oct-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Starhawk

But although foreign and internal threats of Fascism must be taken seriously, there is no greater mistake and no graver danger than not to see that in our own society we are faced with the same phenomenon that is fertile soil for the rise of Fascism anywhere: the insignificance and powerlessness of the individual.

Erich Fromm (1900-1980) American psychoanalyst and social philosopher
Escape from Freedom, ch. 7, sec. 1 (1941)
    (Source)
Added on 21-Sep-20 | Last updated 21-Sep-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Fromm, Erich

I am sure that in nine out of ten cases the original wish to write is the wish to make oneself felt … the non-essential writer never gets past that wish.

Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973) Irish author
Letter to Graham Greene, quoted in Why Do I Write? (1948)

Ellipses in the original.
Added on 24-Aug-20 | Last updated 24-Aug-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Bowen, Elizabeth

A man can look upon his life and accept it as good or evil; it is far, far harder for him to confess that it has been unimportant in the sum of things.

Murray Kempton (1917-1997) American journalist.
Part of Our Time: Some Ruins & Monuments of the Thirties, ch. 5 (1955)
    (Source)
Added on 17-Jul-20 | Last updated 17-Jul-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Kempton, Murray

Every man is a consumer, and ought to be a producer. He fails to make his place good in the world unless he not only pays his debt but also adds something to the common wealth.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
The Conduct of Life, ch. 3 “Wealth” (1860)
    (Source)
Added on 7-Apr-20 | Last updated 5-May-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

Mary Oliver (1935-2019) American poet
“When Death Comes” New and Selected Poems, Vol. 2 (2005)
Added on 7-Apr-20 | Last updated 7-Apr-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Oliver, Mary

Malice is of a low Stature, but it hath very long Arms.

George Savile, Marquis of Halifax (1633-1695) English politician and essayist
“Of Malice and Envy,” Political, Moral, and Miscellaneous Thoughts and Reflections (1750)
    (Source)
Added on 16-Mar-20 | Last updated 16-Mar-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Halifax, George Savile, Marquis of

I distrust Great Men. They produce a desert of uniformity around them and often a pool of blood too, and I always feel a little man’s pleasure when they come a cropper.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970) English novelist, essayist, critic, librettist [Edward Morgan Forster]
“What I Believe,” The Nation (16 Jul 1938)
    (Source)
Added on 29-Jan-20 | Last updated 29-Jan-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Forster, E. M.

People don’t alter history any more than birds alter the sky, they just make brief patterns in it.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Mort (1987)
    (Source)
Added on 28-Dec-18 | Last updated 28-Dec-18
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Pratchett, Terry

The essence of the Epistles of Paul is that Christians should rejoice at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believe. The projection of a social gospel, in my opinion, is the true witness of a Christian life. This is the meaning of the true ekklesia — the inner, spiritual church. The church once changed society. It was then a thermostat of society. But today I feel that too much of the church is merely a thermometer, which measures rather than molds popular opinion.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
Playboy interview (Jan 1965)
    (Source)
Added on 15-Oct-18 | Last updated 15-Oct-18
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by King, Martin Luther

You confuse what’s important with what’s impressive.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970) English novelist, essayist, critic, librettist [Edward Morgan Forster]
Maurice (w. 1914, pub. 1971)
    (Source)
Added on 8-Jan-18 | Last updated 8-Jan-18
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Forster, E. M.

When you teach your son, you teach your son’s son.

The Talmud (AD 200-500) Collection of Jewish rabbinical writings
Seder Nashim, Kiddushin 30a

Paraphrase of "This serves to say to you that whoever teaches his son Torah, the verse ascribes him credit as though he taught him, and his son, and his son’s son, until the end of all generations" (alt. trans. "to him who teaches his son Torah, the Writ ascribes merit as though he had taught him, his son and his son's son until the end of all time!"). This is in turn referenced to Deut. 4:9.
Added on 27-Jul-17 | Last updated 31-Jul-17
Link to this post | 2 comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Talmud

It was later that the story of Windle Poons really came to an end, if “story” means all that he did and caused and set in motion. In the Ramtop village where they dance the real Morris dance, for example, they believe that no one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away — until the clock he wound up winds down, until the wine she made has finished its ferment, until the crop they planted is harvested. The span of someone’s life, they say, is only the core of their actual existence.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Reaper Man (1991)
Added on 29-May-17 | Last updated 29-May-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Pratchett, Terry

A great flame follows a little spark.

[Poca favilla gran fiamma seconda.]

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) Italian poet
The Divine Comedy, “Paradiso,” Canto 1, l. 34 (1321)
Added on 1-Jun-16 | Last updated 1-Jun-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Dante Alighieri

The voice of passion is better than the voice of reason.
The passionless cannot change history.

Czesław Miłosz (1911-2004) Polish-Lithuanian poet, essayist, diplomat
“The Child of Europe” (1946)
    (Source)
Added on 16-Sep-15 | Last updated 16-Sep-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Milosz, Czeslaw

Man is a complex being who makes deserts bloom and lakes die.

G. B. Stern (1890-1973) British writer [Gladys Bronwyn Stern]
(Attributed)

Also attributed (unsourced) to Gil Stern, Gil Scott-Heron, and Lawrence Peter.
Added on 20-Apr-15 | Last updated 20-Apr-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Stern, G. B.

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) American poet
“A Psalm of Life” (1838)
Added on 14-Jan-15 | Last updated 14-Jan-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth

Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make. Good. Art.

Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British fabulist
Commencement address, University of the Arts, Philadelphia (2012)
    (Source)
Added on 2-Jan-14 | Last updated 2-Jan-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Gaiman, Neil

I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? … We need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.

[Ich glaube, man sollte überhaupt nur solche Bücher lesen, die einen beißen und stechen. Wenn das Buch, das wir lesen, uns nicht mit einem Faustschlag auf den Schädel weckt, wozu lesen wir dann das Buch? Damit es uns glücklich macht, wie Du schreibst? Mein Gott, glücklich wären wir eben auch, wenn wir keine Bücher hätten, und solche Bücher, die uns glücklich machen, könnten wir zur Not selber schreiben. Wir brauchen aber die Bücher, die auf uns wirken wie ein Unglück, das uns sehr schmerzt, wie der Tod eines, den wir lieber hatten als uns, wie wenn wir in Wälder verstoßen würden, von allen Menschen weg, wie ein Selbstmord, ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. Das glaube ich.]

Franz Kafka (1883-1924) Czech-Austrian Jewish writer
Letter to Oskar Pollak (27 Jan 1904)
    (Source)

Alt. translations:
  • "If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skulls, then why do we read it? Good God, we also would be happy if we had no books and such books that make us happy we could, if need be, write ourselves. What we must have are those books that come on us like ill fortune, like the death of one we love better than ourselves, like suicide. A book must be an ice axe to break the sea frozen inside us."
  • "What we need are books that hit us like a most painful misfortune, like the death of someone we loved more than we love ourselves, that make us feel as though we had been banished to the woods, far from any human presence, like a suicide. A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us."
  • "A book should be an ice-axe to break the frozen sea within us."
  • "A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul."
  • "A book should serve as the ax for the frozen sea within us."
Added on 12-Nov-13 | Last updated 19-Dec-19
Link to this post | 1 comment
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Kafka, Franz

And is he dead whose glorious mind
Lifts thine on high?
To live in the hearts we leave
Is not to die!

Campbell - not to die - wist_info

Thomas Campbell (1777–1844) Scottish poet
“Hallowed Ground” (1825)
Added on 8-Feb-11 | Last updated 19-Nov-15
Link to this post | 2 comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Campbell, Thomas