Quotations about   independence

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A great marriage is like two trees standing tall, side by side. Their branches intertwine so beautifully, so gracefully, they almost become one, yet they remain two. Standing together, they are strong, beautiful and better able to withstand the high winds of storms that come now and then. They are separate living things, yet so interdependent, growing more beautifully entwined year after year. Providing shade, comfort, and safety for each other and all who walk their way.

Other Authors and Sources
Carl Walter, Grand Prize winner, “Dr. Mardy’s Quotes of the Week” Marriage Metaphor Competition (2015)
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Added on 10-Apr-19 | Last updated 10-Apr-19
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To be poor and independent, is very nearly an impossibility.

William Cobbett (1763-1835) English politician, agriculturist, journalist, pamphleteer
Advice to Young Men and (Incidentally) to Young Women, Letter 2, #54 (1829)
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Added on 6-Jul-17 | Last updated 6-Jul-17
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You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away men’s initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

William J. H. Boetcker (1873-1962) German-American religious leader, author, public speaker [William John Henry Boetcker]
“The Industrial Decalogue” (1916)

Often referred to as "The Ten Cannots," and also often misattributed to Abraham Lincoln.
Added on 14-Mar-17 | Last updated 14-Mar-17
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You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.

Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) Lebanese-American poet, writer, painter [Gibran Khalil Gibran]
“On Children,” The Prophet (1923)
Added on 11-Oct-16 | Last updated 11-Oct-16
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The only kind of dignity which is genuine is that which is not diminished by the indifference of others.

Hammarskjold - dignity which is genuine - wist_info quote

Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961) Swedish diplomat, author, UN Secretary-General (1953-61)
Markings (1964)
Added on 14-Apr-16 | Last updated 14-Apr-16
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How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.

Marcus Aurelius (121-180) Roman emperor (161-180), Stoic philosopher
Meditations [tr. Staniforth (1964)]
Added on 14-Jan-16 | Last updated 14-Jan-16
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It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who, in the midst of the crowd, keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Self-Reliance,” Essays: First Series (1841)
Added on 14-Oct-15 | Last updated 14-Oct-15
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A necessary quality for the attainment of individuality is the ability to tolerate some degree of loneliness in the sense of independent adherence to values that those around you will not support.

D. W. Harding (1906-1993) British psychologist and literary critic [Denys Clement Wyatt Harding]
Social Psychology and Individual Values (1953)
Added on 13-Oct-15 | Last updated 13-Oct-15
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If ever there’s a tomorrow where we’re not together, there is something you must remember. You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

A. A. Milne (1882-1956) English poet and playwright [Alan Alexander Milne]
(Misattributed)
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Christopher Robin to Pooh Bear. The quotation is broadly attributed to Milne and Winnie the Pooh, but is actually from the 1997 Disney video Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin, written by Carter Crocker and Karl Geurs, based on the characters created by Milne.
Added on 14-Aug-15 | Last updated 14-Aug-15
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It’s all about money, not freedom, y’all, okay? Nothing to do with fuckin’ freedom. If you think you’re free, try going somewhere without fucking money, okay?

Bill Hicks (1961-1994) American stand-up comedian, social critic, satirist, musician [William Melvin "Bill" Hicks]
In American: The Bill Hicks Story (2009)
Added on 6-Feb-15 | Last updated 6-Feb-15
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The way chosen by the United States was plainly marked by a few clear precepts, which govern its conduct in world affairs.

First: No people on earth can be held, as a people, to be enemy, for all humanity shares the common hunger for peace and fellowship and justice.

Second: No nation’s security and well-being can be lastingly achieved in isolation but only in effective cooperation with fellow-nations.

Third: Any nation’s right to form of government and an economic system of its own choosing is inalienable.

Fourth: Any nation’s attempt to dictate to other nations their form of government is indefensible.

And fifth: A nation’s hope of lasting peace cannot be firmly based upon any race in armaments but rather upon just relations and honest understanding with all other nations.

Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) American general, US President (1953-61)
“The Chance for Peace,” speech to American Society of Newspaper Editors, Washington (16 Apr 1953)

Also known as the "Cross of Iron" speech.
Added on 5-Feb-15 | Last updated 23-Jun-18
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When things get so balled up that the people of a country got to cut loose from some other country, and go it on their own hook, without asking no permission from nobody, excepting maybe God Almighty, then they ought to let everybody know why they done it, so that everybody can see they are not trying to put nothing over on nobody. All we got to say on this proposition is this: first, me and you is as good as anybody else, and maybe a damn sight better; second, nobody ain’t got no right to take away none of our rights; third, everyman has got a right to live, to come and go as he pleases, and to have a good time whichever way he likes, so long as he don’t interfere with nobody else. That any government that don’t give a man them rights ain’t worth a damn; also, people ought to choose the kind of government they want themselves, and nobody else ought to have no say in the matter. That whenever any government don’t do this, then the people have got a right to give it the bum’s rush and put in one that will take care of their interests.

H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) American writer and journalist [Henry Lewis Mencken]
“Essay in American,” Baltimore Evening Sun (7 Nov 1921)
Added on 4-Feb-15 | Last updated 4-Feb-15
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I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel. It gives her a feeling of freedom, self-reliance and independence. The moment she takes her seat she knows she can’t get into harm while she is on her bicycle, and away she goes, the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.

Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) American reformer, aboltionist, sufferagist
Letter to the editor of “Sidepath” magazine (1898)
Added on 30-Jan-15 | Last updated 30-Jan-15
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I am America. I am the part you won’t recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me.

Muhammad Ali (b. 1942) American boxer [b. Cassius Clay]
Quoted in New York Times (21 Nov 1965)
Added on 28-Oct-14 | Last updated 28-Oct-14
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My manner of thinking, so you say, cannot be approved. Do you suppose I care? A poor fool indeed is he who adopts a manner of thinking for others! My manner of thinking stems straight from my considered reflections; it holds with my existence, with the way I am made. It is not in my power to alter it; and were it, I’d not do so.

Donatien Alphonse François de Sade (1740-1814) French aristocrat, philosopher, writer, libertine [The Marquis de Sade]
Letter to his wife (1783)
Added on 24-Oct-14 | Last updated 24-Oct-14
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If ye would go up high, then use your own legs! Do not get yourselves carried aloft; do not seat yourselves on other people’s backs and heads!

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) German philosopher and poet
Thus Spoke Zarathustra [Also sprach Zarathustra], Part 4, ch. 73 (1883-85)
Added on 3-Oct-14 | Last updated 3-Oct-14
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It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own. But the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Ethics,” Lecture, Masonic Temple, Boston (17 Feb 1837)
Added on 19-Sep-14 | Last updated 19-Sep-14
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Political sovereignty is but a mockery without the means of meeting poverty and illiteracy and disease. Self-determination is but a slogan if the future holds no hope.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) US President (1961-63)
Speech, UN General Assembly (25 Sep 1961)
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Added on 8-Sep-14 | Last updated 8-Sep-14
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He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in an other hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of INFIDEL powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he also obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed against the LIBERTIES of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the LIVES of an other.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Declaration of Independence [draft] (1776)

This anti-slavery clause was removed from the Declaration at the behest of the representatives of South Carolina as a requirement for their vote.
Added on 26-Aug-14 | Last updated 26-Aug-14
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A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) English modernist writer [b. Adeline Virginia Stephen]
A Room of One’s Own, ch. 1 (1929)
Added on 23-Jun-14 | Last updated 23-Jun-14
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Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
Letter to the Young People’s Society, Greenpoint Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn (16 Feb 1901)
Added on 26-Aug-13 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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The first thing I want to teach is disloyalty. … This will beget independence — which is loyalty to one’s best self and principles, and this is often disloyalty to the general idols and fetishes.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
Mark Twain’s Notebook [ed. Paine (1935)]
Added on 9-Oct-09 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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Your race, in its poverty, has unquestionably one really effective weapon — laughter. Power, Money, Persuasion, Supplication, Persecution — these can lift at a colossal humbug, — push it a little — crowd it a little — weaken it a little, century by century: but only Laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of Laughter nothing can stand. You are always fussing and fighting with your other weapons. Do you ever use that one? No; you leave it lying rusting. As a race, do you ever use it at all? No; you lack sense and the courage.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
“The Chronicle of Young Satan” (c.1897–1900, unfinished)
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Often paraphrased: "The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter." This is an (excised) passage from what was eventually posthumously published as No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger (1916).
Added on 3-Oct-08 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore.

John Adams (1735-1826) American lawyer, Founding Father, statesman, US President (1797-1801)
Letter to Abigail Adams (3 Jul 1776)

The Colonial Congress approved of the Independence Resolution on 2 July. The final agreement on the Declaration, and its signing, was on 4 July.
Added on 4-Jul-08 | Last updated 10-Jul-16
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The man who does not do his own thinking is a slave, and is a traitor to himself and to his fellow-men.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“The Liberty of Man, Woman, and Child” (1877)
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Added on 12-Feb-08 | Last updated 4-Feb-16
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There is only one success … to be able to spend your life in your own way, and not to give others absurd maddening claims upon it.

Christopher Morley (1890-1957) American journalist, novelist, essayist, poet
Where the Blue Begins, ch. 8 (1922)
Added on 5-Feb-08 | Last updated 18-Nov-14
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Whatever issue may come before me as President — on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject — I will make my decision in accordance with these views, in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressures or dictates. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise. But if the time should ever come — and I do not concede any conflict to be even remotely possible — when my office would require me to either violate my conscience or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office; and I hope any conscientious public servant would do the same.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) US President (1961-63)
Speech, Greater Houston Ministerial Association (12 Sep 1960)
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Added on 14-Jan-08 | Last updated 21-Jul-14
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I do not speak for my church on public matters — and the church does not speak for me.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) US President (1961-63)
Speech, Greater Houston Ministerial Association (12 Sep 1960)
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Added on 13-Dec-07 | Last updated 2-Jan-14
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Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
Mark Twain’s Notebook [ed. Paine (1935)]

Also given as "... time to reform."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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