John's Favorite Quotations

I say that creeds, dogmas, and theologies are inventions of the mind. It is the nature of the mind to make sense out of experience, to reduce the conglomerates of experience to units of comprehension which we call principles, or ideologies, or concepts. Religious experience is dynamic, fluid, effervescent, yeasty. But the mind can't handle these so it has to imprison religious experience in some way, get it bottled up. Then, when the experience quiets down, the mind draws a bead on it and extracts concepts, notions, dogmas, so that religious experience can make sense to the mind. - Howard Thurman (on how fundamentalism starts)

By far the greater part of violence that humans inflicted on each other is not the work of criminals or mentally deranged, but of normal, respectable citizens service of the collective ego. One can go so far as to say that on this planet "normal" equals insane. What is it that lies at the root of this insanity? Complete identification with thought and emotion, that is to say, ego. - Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

Man must explore. - Apollo 15 astronaut David Scott's first words as he stepped upon the moon, July 31, 1971

Man is much more than a 'rational being' and lives more by sympathies and impressions than by conclusions. It darkens his eyes and dries up the wells of his humanity to be forever in search of doctrine. We need wholesome, experiencing na­tures, I dare affirm, much more than we need sound reasoning. - Woodrow Wilson, from On Being Human

The nation no longer stands for the enlightenment tradition, but rather for military-political hegemony and the total commodification of life. - Morris Berman, October 6, 2001, The Guardian

To overcome our biological limitations as individuals, we have co-evolved collective systems and capacities -- cultural, social, economic, political, scientific, media, educational, public relations, etc. But the flaw in all that is that we have designed them primarily for comfort, profit, power, control, and entertainment rather than for collective intelligence, sanity, and wisdom. - Tom Atlee

Great indeed is Fear; but it is not, as our military enthusiasts believe and try to make us believe, the only stimulus known for awakening the higher ranges of men's spiritual energy. - William James

Extremism always ends up in tears. - Samir Rihani, author, Complex Systems Theory and Development Practice

The unexamined life is not worth living. - Socrates

I pray that God give you the imperishable gift of His love. ... May his blessings be ever with you; may His consciousness never leave you. May you realize, within and without, the fullness of His Presence. - Paramahansa Yogananda

Know thyself. - Socrates

War remains the decisive human failure. - John Kenneth Galbraith

Tell me and I forget,
Teach me and I remember,
Engage me and I learn. - Chinese Proverb

You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give. - Sir Winston Churchill

It's hard to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding. - Upton Sinclair
Not everything that can be counted counts...and not everything that counts can be counted. -- Albert Einstein

The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics and cynics....We need people who can dream things that never were. - John F. Kennedy

Don't stay in bed unless you can make money in bed.- George Burns

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. - Thomas Jefferson

Man is the handiwork of God and was placed upon earth to carry out a Divine purpose; the corporation is the handiwork of man and created to carry out a money-making policy. There is comparatively little difference in the strength of men; a corporation may be one hundred, one thousand, or even one million times stronger than the average man. Man acts under the restraints of conscience, and is influenced also by a belief in a future life. A corporation has no soul and cares nothing about the hereafter. A corporation has no rights except those given it by law. It can exercise no power except that conferred upon it by the people through legislation, and the people should be as free to withhold as to give, public interest and not private advantage being the end in view. -- William Jennings Bryan (address to the Ohio 1912 Constitutional Convention)

When I meet a man, I am not concerned about his opinions. I am concerned about the man. - Martin Buber

Growing old is inevitable; growing up is optional. - anonymous

The sin of inadvertence, not being alert, not quite awake, is the sin of missing the moment of life--live with unremitting alertness. - Joseph Campbell

The most important thing going forward is to break the boundaries between people so we can operate as a single intelligence. - David Bohm

You don't become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you, and allowing that goodness to emerge. But it can only emerge if something fundamental changes in your state of consciousness.- Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

To consciously evolve, we require clear vision of a compassionate future that draws out our enthusiastic participation in life. - Duane Elgin

You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. - Mark Twain

Not much happens without a dream. And for something great to happen, there must be a great dream. Much more than a dreamer is required to bring it to reality; but the dream must be there first. - Robert Greenleaf

Without a global revolution in the sphere of human consciousness, nothing will change for the better in the sphere of our being as humans, and the catastrophe toward which this world is headed - be it ecological, social, demographic or a general breakdown - will be unavoidable. - Vaclav Havel, President, Czech Republic

Vaclav Havel, when asked what could change the direction of our present civilization, replied, "The only option is a change in the sphere of the spirit, in the sphere of human conscience. It is not enough to invent new machines, new regulations, new institutions. We must develop a new understanding of the true purpose of our existence on this Earth."


People are often unreasonable,
Illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind,
People may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful,
You will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank,
People may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building,
Someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness,
Others may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today,
People will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have,
And it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis,
It is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

- Mother Teresa



Clarke's First Law: When a distinguished but elderly scientist says that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he says it is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

Clarke's Second Law: The only way to find the limits of the possible is by going beyond them to the impossible.

Clarke's Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.


Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible. - Albert Einstein

The most useful knowledge comes spontaneously in response to questions. Your questions will help me to know what I would otherwise not know. - Robert Rabbin

Leadership is everybody's business, and the leadership challenge is everybody's challenge. The next time you say to yourself. "Why don't they do something about this?" look into the mirror. Ask the person you see, "Why don't you do something about this?" - Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, The Leadership Challenge

Our world needs leaders whose eyes we trust, whose heart we know, whose soul is rampant in all they do, seen and unseen, heard and unheard, done and not done. - Rob Rabbin, Invisible Leadership: Igniting the Soul at Work

Above all, leadership is a position of servanthood. - Max DePree, former Chair, Herman Miller, Inc.

As we let go of the machine model of work, we begin to step back and see ourselves in new ways, to appreciate wholeness, and to design organizations that honor and make use of the totality of who we are. - Margaret Wheatley, author, Leadership and the New Science, from her chapter in Leadership in a New Era

A leader is someone whose actions have the most profound consequences on other people's lives, for better or worse, sometime forever and ever.- Warren Bennis, An Invented Life

When I was 20 and ran my first race, I told myself I don't know how I'm going to do this for a living. I don't have the money to do it. But it is what I want to do. - 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Dale Jarrett, 2-10-01 on Fox Sports TV

There is an ill in our system and it's the focus on the quarterly return. If I were the czar of American industry, you know the first thing I would do? I would make stock options illegal. When our top executives have a major part of their wealth tied up in stock options, they become obsessed with that bottom line and they become myopic. - Bill Coors, Chairman, Adolph Coors Co., LOHAS Journal, Spring 2001

It doesn't do any good to wire the world if we short circuit the soul. - Tom Brokaw, NBC-TV news anchorman

A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks. - Andy Rooney, CBS-TV "Sixty Minutes"

We are an unfinished nation. - John McCain, U.S. Senator, Personal Excellence magazine, Nov. 01

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered. -- John F. Kennedy (from Greg Steltenpohl.)

[I]t is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country. --Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering

Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is that simple. It is that difficult. -- Warren Bennis

It's not differences that divide us. It's our judgments about each other that do. - Meg Wheatley, Turning to One Another

If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well. - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain

A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world. - Oscar Wilde

The difference between the almost right word and the right word is like the difference between the lightning bug and lightning. - Mark Twain

Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them. - Albert Einstein doubtful accuracy as this saying has been stated differently a lot

Nationalism is an infantile sickness. It is the measles of the human race. - Einstein

I'm not trying to counsel any of you to do anything really special except to dare to think, and to dare to go with the truth, and to dare to really love completely. - R. Buckminster Fuller

A time comes when silence is betrayal. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Nothing that I can do will change the structure of the universe. But maybe, by raising my voice, I can help the greatest of all causes - goodwill among men and peace on earth. --Albert Einstein

In the tangled hierarchy sinner and saint, divine and diabolical, sacred and profane are different faces of our collective Being. Therefore angry activism driven by rage, however justified it seems, is really not going to work. I believe that the tangled hierarchy wants us to move to the next state of evolution and very strongly desires us to take that quantum leap of creativity. - Deepak Chopra

Intelligent people, when assembled into an organization, will tend toward collective stupidity. - management consultant Karl Albrecht

In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists. - Eric Hoffer, U.S. philosopher

We just may be the most well-informed, yet least self-aware, people in history. - Norman Lear, as interviewed in Leadership in a New Era

Come to the edge.
We might fall.
Come to the edge.
It's too high!
Come to the edge.
And they came,
and we pushed,
And they flew.
- Christopher Logue, "Come to the Edge"(1968)


In serving each other we become free. - inscription in the top of King Arthur's roundtable (from movie "First Knight" - starring Sean Connery playing Arthur)

A little revolution now and then is a good thing. - Thomas Jefferson

Love is the force that ignites the spirit and binds teams together. -- Phil Jackson, author, Sacred Hoops; five time NBA championship coach

The great and invigorating influences in American life have been the unorthodox: the people who challenge an existing institution or way of life, or say and do things that make people think. - William O. Douglas

One finds one's destiny on the path one takes to avoid it. - Carl Jung

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies. Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude. - Martin Luther King, Jr

By their very nature bureaucracies have no conscience, no memory, and no mind. - Edward T. Hall, anthropologist

The leader sees what his system can become. He has the image in his mind. It's not just a matter of data, it's a matter of his dream. With apologies to Emerson, a system is more than the lengthened shadow of one man. It is the embodiment of a dream - a thought, a wish, a hope - made real. A leader is one who understands that our systems are only bounded by what we can dream. - John Gall, author, The Systems Bible: The Beginner's Guide to Systems Large and Small (The Third Edition of Systemantics)

When the forms of an old culture are dying, the new culture is created by a few people who are not afraid to be insecure. - Rudolf Bahro, German green philosopher and activist

by Portia Nelson

1) I walk down the street.
There is a huge hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I'm lost...hopeless.
It's not my fault.
It takes forever to get out.

2) I walk down the same street.
There is a huge hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend that I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe that I'm in the same place again.
But it's not my fault.
Still, it takes me a long time to get out.

3) I walk down the same street.
There is a huge hole in the sidewalk.
I see it.
Still I fall's a habit.
My eyes are wide open.
Already I know where I am.
It's my fault.
I climb out quickly.

4) I walk down the same street.
There is a huge hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

5) I walk down a different street.


If they can get you to ask the wrong questions, then they don't have to worry about the answers. --Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

My country is the world. My countrymen are mankind. - Thomas Paine

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. - His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Unconditional love exists when all of you is loving all of that which you love. - From the book Right Use of Will

Of all the creatures of earth, only human beings can change their patterns. Man alone is the architect of his destiny...Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives. -- William James

You cannot recognize in another a quality you do not have yourself. - Liu Shao, 18th century Chinese philosopher

Those with visible responsibility for leadership are nearly always too visible to take responsibility for change... - Harlan Cleveland, author, Nobody in Charge, former U.S. ambassador to NATO

If the people speak and the king doesn't listen, there is something wrong with the king. If the kings acts precipitously and the people say nothing, something is wrong with the people. - Joan Chittistor, OSB, Benedictine Sister of Erie and international lecturer

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies. Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Nothing is illegal if one hundred businessmen decide to do it. - Arthur Young, former Mayor of Atlanta and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations

Dare to know. - a phrase translated from Sapere Aude as the motto of the Age of Enlightenment from an 1784 essay by Immanuel Kant, "What is Enlightenment?"

At every crossroad on the way that leads to the future, each progressive spirit is opposed by a thousand men appointed to guard the past. - Maurice Maeterlinck, Belgian poet

People say you cannot teach an old dog new tricks, but there are some tricks you can only teach an old dog. - Marie Fielder, co-founder of The Fielding Institute

One challenge of growing up in the twenty-first century will be to acquire a self-definition that can encompass person and planet, socially constructed self and transcendent being, organism and machine. - Walter Truett Anderson, author, The Next Enlightenment

A new idea is first condemned as ridiculous and then dismissed as trivial, until finally, it becomes what everybody knows. - William James, American psychologist and philosopher

...we do not understand the intrinsic contradiction of the spiritual search in the midst of the forces of life--sex, power and money. We trust the 'official' religious saint, perhaps, who achieves sanctity through retreating from worldly life--the hermit in the desert, the monk in his monastery. And we understand, and therefore in a certain sense we trust, the man or woman engaged only in the outer life with no spiritual motivation at all. But we do not grasp the co-existence of these two directions in any individual or in ourselves. We admire, but do not know, the man who lives in two worlds. - Jacob Needleman, author, The American Soul

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. - Seneca the Elder

A stand is about adapting the world to your word. It creates a trend that others want to follow. - Paul Dolan, President of Fetzer Vineyards in his book True to Our Roots

Others are affected by what I am, and say, and do. And these others have also their sphere of influence. So that a single act of mine may spread in widening circles through a nation or humanity. - William Ellery Channing, American Unitarian

To unleash the whole capability of the individual - mind, body and spirit - gives enormous power to the organization. It truly empowers members of the organization to devote their entire beings to the ultimate purpose for which the organization exists, which is to serve others. - Bill George, CEO, Medtronic, Inc.,

Good people are in Hell because they can't forgive themselves. - Robin Williams in movie "What Dreams May Come"

A great society is one in which the people of business think greatly of their function. - Alfred North Whitehead

Every few hundred years in Western history there occurs a sharp transformation. Within a few short decades, society - its worldview, its basic values, its social and political structures, its art, its key institutions - rearranges itself. We are currently living through such a time. - Peter Drucker

...the very notion that a candidate should openly solicit votes violated the principled presumption that such behavior itself represented a confession of unworthiness for national office. - Joseph J. Ellis, author, in Founding Brothers (re conventional American thinking until about 1796), pg. 162 pbk Vintage

Talk is cheap because there's more supply than demand. - author unknown

The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

...we have every opportunity and every encouragement before us, to form the noblest truest constitution on the face of the earth. We have it in our power to begin the world over again. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

We are living through the most exciting, challenging and most critical time in human history. Never before has so much been possible; and never before has so much been at stake. - Peter Russell, British futurist, author, The Global Brain

Perhaps the only limits to the human mind are those we believe in. - Willis Harman

We may just be the most well informed, yet least self-aware, people in history. - Norman Lear, interview, Leadership in a New Era

The only time we can speak of God in the workplace is when someone sneezes. - Martin Rutte

The winds of grace are always blowing, but you have to raise the sail. - Ramakrishna

Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive. - Howard Thurman, civil rights activist, theologian

There are sufficient resources on this planet to answer the needs of all, but not enough to satisfy everyone's greed. - Gandhi

Vision without action is a daydream, action without a vision is a nightmare. - Japanese Proverb

The life you live is the legacy you leave. - Lynne Twist, The Soul of Money

What you share you strengthen and that which you share lasts forever as your true legacy. - Lynne Twist, The Soul of Money

I asked for strength
and God gave me difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for wisdom
And God gave me problems to learn to solve.
I asked for prosperity
And God gave me a brain and brawn to work.
I asked for courage
And God gave me dangers to overcome.
I asked for love
And God gave me people to help.
I asked for favours
And God gave me opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted.
I received everything I needed.
- Sufi poem, attributed to Hazrat Inayar Khan

Society gives legitimacy and society can take it away. - Willis Harman

A gift that cannot be given away ceases to be a gift. The spirit of a gift is kept alive by its constant donation. - Lewis Hyde, The Gift

If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea....He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lites his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. - Thomas Jefferson

What am I then...? Everything that I have seen, heard, and observed I have collected and exploited. My works have been nourished by countless different individuals, by innocent and wise ones, people of intelligence and dunces. Childhood, maturity and old age all have brought me their thoughts....their perspectives on life. I have often reaped what others have sowed. My work is the work of a collective being that bears the name Goethe. - Goethe

Imagination is more important than knowledge, for while knowledge points to all there is, imagination points to all there will be - Albert Einstein

Dissent without action is consent. -- Henry David Thoreau

I cannot help fearing that men may reach a point where they look on every new theory as a danger, every innovation as a toilsome trouble, every social advance as a first step toward revolution, and that they may absolutely refuse to move at all for fear of being carried off their feet. The prospect really does frighten me that they may finally become so engrossed in a cowardly love of immediate pleasures that their interest in their own future and in that of their descendants may vanish... - Alexis de Tocqueville

A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. - Maya Angelou

I do not believe that the spiritual law works on a field of its own. On the contrary, it expresses itself only through the ordinary activities of life. It thus affects the economic, the social and the political fields. --Mahatma Gandhi

I'm not trying to counsel any of you to do anything really special except to dare to think, and to dare to go with the truth, and to dare to really love completely. -R. Buckminster ("Bucky") Fuller

The world is as you dream it. - Shamantic teaching

Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - anthropologist Margaret Mead

The question before the United States is whether the magnitude of its power will eclipse the light by which it was founded, or whether it will use its power to serve greater light. Does it seek mastery to dominate or mastery to serve? - Jim Garrison, founder, State of the World Forum

The crisis is not out there in the world, it is within our own consciousness. - J. Krishnamurti

Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases:
If it moves, tax it.
If it keeps moving, regulate it.
And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
-- Ronald Reagan

If you want government to intervene domestically, you're a liberal. If you want government to intervene overseas, you're a conservative. If you want government to intervene everywhere, you're a moderate. If you don't want government to intervene anywhere, you're an extremist. -- Joseph Sobran, Former Editor of the National Review

No great improvements on the lot of mankind are possible, until a great change takes place in the fundamental constitution of their modes of thought. - John Stuart Mill

We have only one thing to do, only this one thing: show the face of who we really are, that we and others may see the brilliance of that true face and know its redemptive love and wisdom. If we want to know how to do this, how to find and show the brilliant face of our inner truth, the answer is this: want to. We simply must want this more than anything else. - Rob Rabbin, Igniting the Soul at Work

Grand visions, even those as prescient as [George] Washington's, must nevertheless negotiate the damnable particularities that history in the short run tosses up before history in the long run arrives to validate the vision. - Joseph J. Ellis, Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness, in a descending spiral of destruction. The chain reaction of evil must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation. - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Consciousness is a being, the nature of which is to be conscious of the nothingness of its being. - Jean-Paul Sartre

Once a photograph of the Earth, taken from outside, is available - once the sheer isolation of the Earth becomes known - a new idea as powerful as any in history will be let loose. - British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle

The big difference between a warrior and a victim is that the victim represses and the warrior refrains. Victims repress because they are afraid to show the emotions, afraid to say what they want to say. To refrain is not the same thing as repression. To refrain is to hold the emotions and to express them in the right moment, not before, not later. That is why warriors are impeccable. - Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Toltec Wisdom Book

I would rather live in a world where my life is surrounded by mystery than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it. - Henry Emerson Fosdick, Baptist preacher (1879-1969) thanks to Rob

The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not. - American longshoreman-turned-social philosopher Eric Hoffer

Our greatest pretenses are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness. The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there. - American longshoreman-turned-social philosopher Eric Hoffer

There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world; and that is an idea whose time has come - Victor Hugo, poet & novelist (1802-1885)

To rail and rant against tyranny is to manifest inferiority, for there is no tyranny but ignorance; to be conscious of one's powers is to lose consciousness of tyranny. Self government is not a remote aim. It is an intimate and inescapable fact. To govern oneself is a natural imperative, and all tyranny is the miscarriage of self government. The first requisite of freedom is to accept responsibility for the lack of it. - E.C. Riegel, 1944 essay "Private Enterprise Money: A Non-Political Money System"

A human being is part of the whole, called by us 'Universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desire and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. - Albert Einstein

Everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. - Victor Frankl

There are some things that, once they are said, there is no unsaying them. - Peter Kingsley, Reality

The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. - George Bernard Shaw

I think we too often make choices based on the safety of cynicism, and what we're led to is a life not fully lived. Cynicism is fear - and it's worse than fear - it's active disengagement. - Ken Burns

If you scratch the surface of a cynic you'll find a disillusioned idealist underneath. - an old saying

I love mankind - it's people I can't stand. - Charles M. Schulz, Go Fly a Kite, Charlie Brown

Life is not an easy matter. You cannot live through it without falling into frustration and cynicism unless you have before you a great idea which raises you above personal misery, above weakness, above all kinds of perfidy and baseness. - Leon Trotsky

When you are free, you have no choice. - J. Krishnamurti

The best way to determine the future is to create it - Peter Drucker

Learning about ourselves is rather inconvenient because it turns the world we live in upside down. - Peter Kingsley, author, Reality

Everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. - Victor Frankl, author, Man's Search for Meaning

The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him. The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself. All progress depends on the unreasonable man. - George Bernard Shaw

As a human phenomenon, however, freedom is all too human. Human freedom is finite freedom. Man is not free from conditions. But he is free to take a stand in regard to them. The conditions do not completely condition him. Within limits it is up to him whether or not he succumbs and surrenders to the conditions. He may as well rise above them and by so doing open up and enter the human dimension... Ultimately, man is not subject to the conditions that confront him; rather, these conditions are subject to his decision. Wittingly or unwittingly, he decides whether he will face up or give in, whether or not he will let himself be determined by the conditions. - Victor Frankl, author, Psychotherapy and Existentialism

The past is gone...the future is another matter. It is an open field of possibility. - Howard Didsbury, Jr, futurist

We are at that very point in time when a 400-year old age is rattling in its death bed and another is struggling to be born. - Dee Hock, founder, VISA international

Taking a stand is a way of living arid being that draws on a place within yourself that is at the very heart of who you are. When you take a stand, you find your place in the universe, and you have the capacity to move the world. - Lynne Twist, founding executive, The Hunger Project

Only changes in mindsets can extend the frontiers of the possible. - Winston Churchill

What would we do with our technological brilliance if we stop using it in service of our fear? - Neal Rogin, filmmaker, writer

The way we are dealing with the environment is like looking down at your toes and wondering how much you could get for them if you sold them. - Neal Rogin, filmmaker, writer

We must love one another or die. - W.H. Auden, poet

Surrender to alcohol intoxication provides a partial and subjective shortcut to a more correct state of mind. - Gregory Bateson

One of the scariest things about love is that it is so powerful. - Raz Ingrasci

This time, like all times, is a very good one if we but know what to do with it. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sometimes, if you want to see a change for the better, you have to take things into your own hands. - Clint Eastwood

It is not power that corrupts, but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it, and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject it. - Thomas Jefferson

When people decide they want to be free...there is nothing that can stop them. - Desmond Tutu

Our social and economic statistics are telling us what we already know in our hearts: we have created a world that works for only a few. To change this, we must learn to act toward each other and our environment in profoundly different ways. - Vaclav Havel, President, Czech Republic, 1993-2003

An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come. - Victor Hugo

Humanity has been sleeping -- and still steeps -- lulled within the narrowly confining joys of its little closed loves. In the depths of the human multitude there slumbers an immense spiritual power which will manifest itself only when we have learnt how to break through the dividing walls of our egoism and raise ourselves up to an entirely new perspective, so that habitually and in a practical fashion we fix our gaze on universal realities. - Teilhard de Chardin

Planetary democracy does not yet exist but our global civilization is already preparing a place for it. It is the very Earth we inhabit linked with Heaven above us. Only in this setting can the mutuality and the commonality of the human race be newly created with reverence and gratitude for that which transcends each of us and all of us together. - Vaclav Havel

When will we learn, when will the people of the world get up and say, enough is enough? God created us for fellowship. God created us so that we should form the human family, existing together because we were made for one another. We are not made for an exclusive self-sufficiency but for interdependence and we break the law of our being at our peril. - Desmond Tutu

AlI change in history, all advance, comes from the non-conformity. If there had been no troublemakers, no dissenters, we should still be living in caves. - Alan John Percivale Taylor, historian

Sometimes doing your best is not enough. Sometimes you must do what is required. - Winston Churchill

The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run. - Henry David Thoreau

A human being is a part of the whole that we call the universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical illusion of his consciousness. This illusion is a prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for only the few people nearest tis. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living beings and all of nature. - Albert Einstein

Over time, years of meditation gave me glimpses of the interconnectedness and interdependence of all life. I experienced that on one level we are alone, separate, apart from everyone and everything; on another level, we are the Self in different disguises, different names and forms, a part of everyone and everything. This experience of interconnectedness is part of spiritual traditions and the perennial wisdom in virtually all religions and cultures. - Dean Ornish, MD

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. - John Quincy Adams

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now. - Goethe

The news is not good these days. I can tell you, though, that as a journalist I know the news is never the end of the story. The news can be the truth that sets us free - not only to feel but to fight for the future we want. And the will to fight is the antidote to despair, the cure for cynicism, and the answer to those faces looking back at me from those photographs on my desk. What we need to match the science of human health is what the ancient Israelites called "hocma" - the science of the heart... the capacity to see... to feel... and then to act... as if the future depended on you. Believe me, it does. - Bill Moyers

Everything has changed save our modes of thinking, and we thus drift towards unparalleled catastrophes. - Albert Einstein

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. - Alvin Toffler, futurist

I'm not trying to counsel any of you to do anything really special except to dare to think, and to dare to go with the truth, and to dare to really love completely. - R. Buckminster Fuller

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. - Thomas Jefferson

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. - Albert Einstein

I refuse to accept the idea that the 'isness' of man's present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal 'oughtness' that forever confronts him. - Martin Luther King, Jr

If humankind could spend just a fraction of the countless millions of dollars and millions of hours we spend trying to predict the future, instead on imagining preferred future options together, we'd be living in a different world. - Ed Lindaman, Director of Program Planning, Apollo Spacecraft Project

Transformation is not automatic. It must be learned; it must be led. - W. Edwards Deming

Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. - Theodore Roosevelt

It will do us little good if we wire the world if we short-circuit our souls. - Tom Brokaw

Intelligence is like four-wheel drive ... it just gets you stuck in more remote places. - Garrison Keillor

It isn't useful to curse the darkness; instead light your candle and let your light shine. - Hafsat Abiola

Leadership exists when people are no longer victims of circumstances but participate in creating new circumstances. Leadership is about creating a domain in which human beings continually deepen their understanding of reality and become more capable of participating in the unfolding of the world. Ultimately, leadership is about creating new realities. - Peter Senge

We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes. - John Swinton, Chief of Staff, The New York Times

As the proportion of people reaching higher states of consciousness increases, this inertia will decrease, and at the same time a supportive momentum in the new direction will start building up. - Peter Russell, The Global Brain

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Deep in American life lies a dormant soul, almost obliterated by politicians and media that consider it too lowly and weak for serious attention. - Thomas Moore, author, The Care of the Soul

A man fulfills the object of his existence by asking questions that are way too big for him to answer, and attempting tasks much greater than he could ever hope to achieve. - Oliver Wendell Holmes

There's what you have
and what you dream.
Life is everything in between.
- lyrics of a country-western song John heard (author unknown)

We treasure what we can measure. - Margaret Heffernan, in Worthwhile magazine

The winds of grace are always blowing; but it is you that must raise your sails. - Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), Nobel laureate for literature (1913)

Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (from Irene Becker)

Our aspirations are our possibilities. - Robert Browning

The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change; until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds. - R. D. Laing

I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. - Thomas Jefferson

When love speaks, the voice of all the gods - makes heaven drowsy with the harmony. - William Shakespeare

The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become. - Charles DuBois, artist

It is not the critic who counts; nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the does of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena. - Theodore Roosevelt

I will act as if what I do makes a difference. - William James

I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather my sparks should burn out in a blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than asleep, and permanent as a planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time. - Jack London

We surely stand at the threshold of a great adventure of the human spiritó a new synthesis of knowledge, a potential integration of art and science, a deeper grasp of human psychology, a deepening of the symbolic representations of our existence and feelings as given in religion and culture, the formation of an international order based on cooperation and nonviolent competition. It seems not too much to hope for these things. - Heinz R. Pagels, The Dreams of Reason

We have to live today by what truth we can get today and be ready tomorrow to call it falsehood.  ~William James

Don't compromise yourself. You're all you've got. ~Janis Joplin

Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them? ~Abraham Lincoln

Beware of a man of one book. ~English Proverb (on fundamentalism)

Joy is but the sign that creative emotion is fulfilling its purpose. - Charles du Bois, artist

If you're powerful, you are much more likely to be blind and deaf to signals from outside. - Adam Michnik

I think it's always dangerous to make political arguments in a religiously ideological way. And it's very dangerous to treat as traitors to the American nation those who think differently. - Adam Michnik

The world is too dangerous for anything but truth and too small for anything but love. - William Sloan Coffin, former chaplain, Yale University

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us. - Marianne Williamson (oft misquoted as spoken by Nelson Mandela)

There is almost a sensual longing for communion with others who have a large vision. The immense fulfillment of the friendship between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality impossible to describe. - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice. -Indian Proverb

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again. - Theodore Roosevelt

We must welcome the future
Remembering that soon it will be the past;
We must respect the past
Remembering that once it was all that was humanly possible.
- George Santayana

Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof. - John Kenneth Galbraith

What is clear is that the earth is mandating that the human community assume a responsibility never assigned to any previous generation...Our task at this critical moment is to awaken the energies needed to create the new world and to evoke a universal communion of all parts of life. - Thomas Berry

When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be. -- Patanjali

To find beauty in the sad, hope in the midst of loss, and dignity in failure is great poetic art. - David Mamet, playwright

Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will - his personal responsibility. - Albert Einstein


"People are often unreasonable,
Illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind,
People may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful,
You will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank,
People may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building,
Someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness,
Others may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today,
People will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have,
And it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis,
It is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway."

- Mother Teresa

We are all angels with one wing, able to fly only when we embrace each other. - Mark Albion

It is never too late to be what you might have been. - George Eliot, 19th c. English novelist

We human beings are social beings. We come into the world as the result of others' actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others' activities. For this reason, it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others. - His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama

Nothing dies harder than a cherished opinion. - Bob Fuller

Worry is a terrible waste of imagination. - unknown

The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant. - Max DuPree

Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. - General Dwight D. Eisenhower

You do not lead by hitting people over the head -- that's assault, not leadership. - General Dwight D. Eisenhower

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. - Ralph Waldo Emerson


Poem by Mother Teresa:
"Deliver me, oh God,
From the desire of being loved,
From the desire of being extolled,
From the desire of being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
From the desire of being popular,
From the fear of being humiliated,
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated (impugned, accused, smeared, etc.),
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being suspected,
From the fear of being ridiculed."
- Mother Teresa, The Simple Path

To be human is to become visible while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others. To remember the other world in this world is to live in your true inheritance. - David Whyte, from What to Remember When Waking

I'm an idealist without illusions. - John F. Kennedy

A great many people will think they're thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. - William James

Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists. - John Kenneth Galbraith

Mini Keynote Archives