Tuesday, April 20, 2010

In Others’ Words

Regular perusers of this modest enterprise know that I am a collector of quotations, which I occasionally am moved to share here. And so we come to another small batch of other people's pithy observations. As is typical, many of these come from the fine newsletter A.Word.A.Day; quite a few come from Odyssey Networks' newsletter Daybook; and the remainder come from here and there across the interwebs.

We are called on to do the work of healing the broken world. If our world were perfect, we would not be obligated to undertake its repair. —Rabbi Elie Kaplan Spitz

If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less. —General Eric Shinseki

I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don’t know the answer. —Douglas Adams, satirist (1952-2001)

My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure. –Abraham Lincoln

Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers. –Voltaire

Make things as simple as they can be and as complex as they have to be. —William of Occam

The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts. —John Locke, philosopher (1632-1704)

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door. —Milton Berle

Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying "End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH," the paint wouldn’t even have time to dry. —Terry Pratchett, novelist (b. 1948)

"Did God have a mother?" Children, when told that God made the heavens and the earth, innocently ask whether God had a mother. This deceptively simple question has stumped the elders of the church and embarrassed the finest theologians, precipitating some of the thorniest theological debates over the centuries. All the great religions have elaborate mythologies surrounding the divine act of Creation, but none of them adequately confronts the logical paradoxes inherent in the question that even children ask. —Michio Kaku, physicist (b. 1947)

Only the educated are free. —Epictetus, philosopher (c. 60-120)

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric. —Bertrand Russell, philosopher, mathematician, author, Nobel laureate (1872-1970)

If a book be false in its facts, disprove them; if false in its reasoning, refute it. But for God s sake, let us freely hear both sides if we choose. —Thomas Jefferson, third US president, architect, and author (1743-1826)

I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university. —Albert Einstein, physicist, Nobel laureate (1879-1955)

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. —Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948)

It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without also remembering my reasons for them. -Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, philosopher (1844-1900)

Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense. —Chapman Cohen, author and lecturer (1868-1954)

Convulsions in nature, disorders, prodigies, miracles, though the most opposite to the plan of a wise superintendent, impress mankind with the strongest sentiments of religion. —David Hume, philosopher, economist, and historian (1711-1776)

If I find in myself a desire which no experience in the world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. —C.S. Lewis

The less people know, the more they yell. —Seth Godin

You get respect when you give it. —Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot

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