Quotes

On Choosing to Ignore Need and Change:

“If you are not part of the solution; you are part of the precipitate.”  (cultural slogan, late 20th Cent.)

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” (M L King, Jr.)

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)

“Someone who suffers because of destiny, or social conditions, or for other reasons, suffers most profoundly when they do not experience that somebody cares – indifference is immorality.” (Holocaust survivor: Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize winner.)

“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out– because I was not a communist; Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out– because I was not a socialist; Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out– because I was not a trade unionist; Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– because I was not a Jew; Then they came for me– and there was no one left to speak out for me.”  (Wikipedia:  “… one of many variations of a poem attributed to Pastor Martin Niemoller (1892–1984) about inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power” . )

On Mindless Oppression:

“Nothing amuses me more than the easy manner with which everybody settles the abundance of those who have a great deal less than themselves.” (Jane Austen)

On Civil Disobedience:

“Democracy is not just a counting up of votes, it is a counting up of actions. Without those on the bottom acting out their desires for justice, as the government acts out its needs, and those with power and privilege act out theirs, the scales of democracy will be off. That is why civil disobedience is not just to be tolerated, if we are to have a truly democratic society, it is a necessity.” (Howard Zinn: You Can’t Stay Neutral on a Moving Train).

On Brutality (especially war):

“What if they gave a war and nobody came?” (cultural slogan, anti-Vietnam War period).

“War is not healthy for children and other living things!” (cultural slogan, anti-Vietnam War period).

“No one can share a hug with war-torn arms.” (My variation on anti-nuclear arms cultural slogan – Original: “You can’t hug your child with nuclear arms.”)

On How History Happens:

“Timelines are for high school textbooks. History itself is all indirection and angles, actions and events caroming off one another, one unintended consequence glancing into the next.” (David Rothkopf)

On the Spontaneous Contribution of Each to All:

“Artists are not different kinds of people, people are different kinds of artists.” (Eric Gill)

“This little light of mine; I’m gonna let it shine …” (Well known lively gospel lyrics based on premise that each brings a gift to the table. For me, this is entirely metaphorical, including reference to ‘Satan’ that is in full lyrics – metaphor for our less noble inclinations that lead us to trounce one another.)

On Economic/Resource Disparity/Suffering:

“There are no civil wars; there are people who have money and people who don’t” (context, originator/writer of sitcom “Arab Labor” (TV show in Israel) on his show, more on his life as an Original Palestinian by family and birth, living the Israel as changes effected such people in 1948 – Sayed Kashua BBC “The Interview”, World service, programs.)

“Suffering does not ennoble, all it does is it causes pain – in the United States, based on a Christian perspective, suffering is thought to ennoble.” (close paraphrase while listening to BBC interview by Lyse Doucet with Art Spiegleman, cartoonist.)

On Speaking Truth to Power:

“In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act”. (George Orwell)

“If you fear making anyone mad, then you ultimately probe for the lowest common denominator of human achievement.” (Jimmy Carter)

On Imagination for Social Change:

“You cannot have public discussion (and improvement) unless people are able to imagine something different.” (Henning Mankell – Swedish, on importance of imagination – BBC The Forum 2/8/09.)

On Global Scope of Current Conditions:

“Right now, there is struggle going on for the consciousness of the planet. If we don’t win this thing, if we don’t bring ourselves into consciousness, if we don’t realize ourselves, if we don’t bring ourselves into actualization … on the face of the earth … it’s over for the consciousness of the planet. Everything we can become, we see here before us: every good thing societies can be, and every horrible thing they can come to. Struggle for consciousness is vastly facilitated by financialization of the globe, … boundaries don’t make any difference any more. All they have to do is effect the needs hierarchy. (Not a conspiracy – don’t have to conspire if their goal is the same.”) (Joe Bageant – paraphrase with quoted phrases; for source, see website link on my ‘Sources, Books, Links‘ page.)

On “Universal Siblinghood”:

“We are members, one of another.” (Ephesians – somewhere – context was a mixing of two specific worshiping groups I think; but I believe the specific offers wisdom of the general.)

“En Lak’ech” (“I am another yourself.”) – A Mayan Greeting  (I have no idea how to pronounce this, but I do pronounce it sometimes anyway.)

“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time.  But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” (Anonymous, Aboriginal woman).

On How Soon We Forget:

“The Peace Movement has been running for over 100 years. Right after WWII 60% of Americans wanted all nuclear weapons to be turned over to the UN, and over half wanted a world government.” (Joe Bageant – paraphrase with quoted phrases; for source, see website link on ‘Sources, Books, Links‘ page.)

On Mindless Co-dependent Behavior:

“If human beings don’t participate it doesn’t exist. … Stockholm syndrome – the captive comes to embrace the captor.” (Joe Bageant – paraphrase with quoted phrases; for source, see website link on my ‘Sources, Books, Links‘ page.)

“It takes effort to possess your own consciousness. Capitalism is successful around the world because it’s easy – hardwired into us – passive – don’t even have to be literate – all you have to do is consume. … consciousness is commoditized globally, …” (Joe Bageant – paraphrase with quoted phrases; for source, see website link on my ‘Sources, Books, Links‘ page.)

“How fortunate it is for leaders, that people don’t think.” (Adolf Hitler)

On Mindless Identity by, and Practice of, Cultural Norms:

“It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.” (e.e. cummings)

“To be nobody-but-myself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make me everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting” (e.e cummings)

The Monk Mayo asked this question of the Sixth Patriarch: “What is Zen?” … The Patriarch replied, “when your mind is not dwelling on the dualism of good and evil, what is your original face before you were born?” …Zen master Dogen … said that in order to perceive reality we must “drop mind and body.” In other words, it is essential to drop all habits of thought and preconceptions in order to understand the truth. (excerpted: http://redravine.wordpress.com/2008/06/26/the-face-you-wore-before-you-were-born/)

Observations of US Social Policy:

“The US is a 2nd world country … … To be 1st world, the US will need to have health care, free education … “ Joe Bageant – largely paraphrased; for source, see website link on my ‘Sources, Books, Links‘ page).

On Human Hard-wiring in Favor of Status Quo:

“When change is incremental and therefore not easily noticeable, it is much less likely that we will do anything about a deteriorating situation.  This human difficulty of tracking slow change presents a great danger to human populations.

“Incrementalism makes critically important changes invisible, unless we are an unusually patient sort of person who takes the time to carefully track the slow changes of things that don’t seem to need tracking.” Eric Veith: http://dangerousintersection.org/2008/01/31/where-are-the-wild-tigers-the-danger-of-our-obliviousness-to-incrementalism/

On Developing Larger Awareness:

“We are earth people on a spiritual journey to the stars. Our quest, our earth walk, is to look within, to know who we are, to see that we are connected to all things.” (Lakota Seer)

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” (Upton Sinclair, via http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Upton_Sinclair)

“The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size.” (Oliver Wendell Holmes)

Wisdom From Those Commonly Classed “Least Successful”:

“Age of Lunacy and Greed” (1969 – old timer who lived a ‘bush life’, during road trip into town, when asked what he wanted to say about our times.)

“Never try to be afraid” (Delivered at pub table, with wry smile, by one of the most ‘lost’ people I’ve ever met – life-experienced, and of indomitable spirit.)

“When they get rid of all the dogs – who’s going to raise the children?” (Also delivered as wry observation – at ‘city beautification and order’ plans. Another old timer- lived  in 2-room shack at edge of town, kept ponies, informally delivered child-care and pony-care responsibilities to assorted ignored and restless neighborhood children. — City ‘beautification’ eventually reached his shack.)

Biblical, similar sources:

The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.  (Isaiah 11:6, New Int’l Version, 1984)

For you will have a covenant with the stones of the field, and the wild animals will be at peace with you. (Job 5:23, New Int’l Version, 1984) (We may want to consider re wild animals – peace is a two way dynamic, flows both ways.)